Since the minute that Finnian was born, I just knew he was going to be the coolest person. He was so chill and so happy. He didn’t need to be messed with, and he was perfectly content just being in his own mind.
That attitude has carried him well throughout his three years. He is still so, just…. Finn. He’s fun and imaginative and so undeniably sweet. People always talk about “old souls,” and my Finn is as “old” and wise as they come.
Needless to say, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when he came to me after a trip to the market and said, “Mom, can we make lemonade with our blueberries?”
What was I going to do, say no? Not a chance. I was not going to let him think that his idea was anything but extraordinary.
Now, we all know and love lemonade. Most of us have become accustom to Raspberry stealing the show as this drink’s one true companion. But blueberries do something that raspberries just can’t. They have a really sweet but flowery sort of taste, and adding them to Lemonade just makes the perfect end of summer indulgence. Or so Finn tells me.
As I always say, if you have a recipe (for lemonade) that you really enjoy, by all means just take that and add the blueberries.
You might be a little surprised by this recipe, though, because it’s not as simple as you might think. Extracting the juices from the berries isn’t just tossing them in the jar and sloshing it around. And unlike lemons, you can’t just squeeze the juice out. It’s really a very sophisticated process that only the finest of home chefs can successfully achieve.
I’m totally kidding. But if you don’t have the right tools, it might require some creative thinking! Feel free to show me what you come up with.
I use a mortar and pestle. Mostly because I just bought it two days ago and I really wanted to use it. But there’s honestly nothing better…
Toss the berries in that there thing and give ‘er hell.
Here is Finn working hard. It is his recipe, after all.
As you will notice, after some effort, they start to actually get SUPER Juicy. If ya don’t know, now ya know.
And now is the point that you’re like, “oh I get it, toss that in the lemonade and go…” WRONG. Don’t put it in your drink like this. Remember, blueberries have pretty tough skin and that doesn’t break down.
(You’ll know this well if you have young un-potty trained toddlers who loooove blueberries.)
What I do is this… Mix the berries, lemon juice (however you so choose to squeeze it), and about a half a cup of water; then pour it through a mesh strainer.This will get out any skin, seeds, and large pulp. What you’re left with is…
Blueberry lemon juice! It’s okay if there are some straggling little chunks, that will happen depending on the size of your sieve. It’s going to be concentrated, so you won’t even notice.
From here, you can set that aside and work on the sweetness. Some people like to add dry sugar, but that runs the risk of not dissolving and building up in the bottom. I do a simple syrup; one part sugar, one part water, heated until the sugar is all gone.
Now, we throw it all together!
Add your juices right into the pitcher. When your syrup is cooled, add that, too. Then fill your pitcher with water. Add some fresh berries and lemons for effect.
It tastes better outside on the deck enjoying a later-summer sunset. If you’re feeling frisky, throw in some Prosecco or crisp white wine. Just keep that one away from the kids, okay?
Either way, enjoy it before we say So Long Sweet Summer.
Juice of two lemons
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 cup water
4 more cups water
Juice lemons, set aside
Mash blueberries. Combine with lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Pour through mesh strainer
For syrup, heat water and sugar until dissolved
Combine all ingredients. Serve chilled.