When Life Gives You Lemons...

You know what they say--when life gives you limones...

It's hotter than Haiti in San Antonio, so forgive me for not blogging much in the last two weeks. We're in the midst of the "dog days of summer."

True. We are suffering through our third week of nearly solid triple digit temperatures and, as you probably can imagine, there hasn't been much cooking going on in our home. The heat has sucked all of the inspiration to cook and eat out of me.

Sure, we've been eating, but it's been lots of bowls of locally-grown watermelon and cantaloupe, gazpacho, watermelon-tomato gazpacho, salads (with our favorite homemade Italian salad dressing), egg salad and other easy to prepare foods that do not require the stove, oven or even a (gasp!) grill. Oh, and we've been consuming plenty of soft serve, too.

Water is essential in this sordid heat, but I have a new favorite drink. Limonada. This is a staple in Mexico and is so easy to make, I am guessing it is going to be your new favorite bev as well. Since there are only limes in Mexico, it is called a limonada, you could easily use lemons and should know that naranjadas--made with orange juice--are also frequently requested of cantineros (bartenders) and meseros (waiters) throughout the pais (country).

But you don't have to be in Mexico to cool off with this classic version of an adult lemonade. All you need is fresh lemons or limes (or oranges), sparkling water (such as Perrier or Mountain Valley Spring) and a few drops of liquid stevia.
Within moments after taking your first sip, you'll know the power and poignancy of  a tall, cold glass of limonada on a hot, steamy day. The sparkling water revitalizes you while the citrus adds a punch of flavor that awakens your senses and reminds you that you will survive the heat. (The glass is half-full perspective? October is closer now than it was in April.)

So, when life gives you excessive heat, have una limonada, por favor!

Buen provecho!
The Cowgirl Gourmet's other half perfected this beverage and we have been drinking it ever since

Print recipe

While it's called a limonada, you can use lemon juice or lime juice interchangeably. In Mexico, there are no lemons, just limes--hence the name limonada. You could also use half lemon juice and half lime juice or use orange juice to make a naranjada. If you do go with the orange juice, use about half of the stevia drops since oranges are much sweeter than limes or lemons. 

Makes 1-24 oz. glass

1/4 cup lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed (orange juice also works, but you would use about half the amount of stevia drops)
Sparkling water, such as Perrier or Mountain Valley Spring
8-12 drops of liquid SweetLeaf stevia (8 drops for a tart limonada and 12 drops for a more balanced sweet-to-tart limonada)
Slice of lemon or lime, as garnish

Fill a tall glass with ice and add citrus juice. Then fill the glass with sparkling water of choice (leaving about 1 inch from the top, so you have room to stir) and add the drops of stevia. Stir well and taste. Add a slice of lemon or lime for garnish.

Sit down, relax, close your eyes and sip. Repeat often.
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