The days are getting warmer and all of us are spending a lot more time outside. Regardless whether you're enjoying an outdoor concert or toiling in the vegetable garden -- it's high time for some good old-fashioned refreshments.
I'm a big fan of fresh, natural lemonade and brewed ice tea. But since I'm usually the only one drinking it, it's silly to make a giant pitcher for one. I found a way to make my own single-serving size version in portable containers, which is great when you're running into town and want a cold drink for the road, or have been outside raking and need something instantly cold and sweet to boost your blood sugar.
Masonades are soda-can size servings of hand-squeezed lemonade or iced tea. You can make enough for a whole weekend in about five minutes, which makes me wonder how powdered mix ever made it in the public market?
Box of pint mason jars (with lids)
Fresh organic lemons
Natural lemon juice
Organic black tea bags
Fresh mint or lemon verbena from the garden
Fill jars halfway with cold water. Cut half a lemon and squeeze its juice into the jar, and then plop the whole half into the jar as well, making the water tart and filled with little bits of pulp and flavor.
If you really want to kick up the tartness, add some fresh lemon juice (about a teaspoon) to the mix. Then add as much sugar as you feel appropriate (depending on mood and heat, it could be as little as a teaspoon or as much as 2 tablespoons) and then top it off with ice till it's nearly overflowing. Seal the lid and shake the hell out of it untill it's one big, frothy, delight.
There you have it. Farm fresh, all natural, and ready for travel.
I make a few of these and stash them in the fridge for later. Instead of grabbing a can of soda, I grab a cold jar of real lemonade in a reusable container that not only tastes amazing but feels a little more authentic than most beverages. Masonades can also be made into iced tea -- which is a healthier alternative.
I just pour hot water from a kettle into room-temperature jars with an organic black tea-bag and let it cool on the kitchen counter. Then I add in a little lemon slice and a pinch of sugar, some ice, and a sprig of lemon verbena or mint, and let it sit in the fridge alongside the jars of lemonade. When it's cold enough to condense water off the sides, it's manna from the still.
Jenna Woginrich, 27, went from city girl to farm girl in her journey to becoming a homesteader. Read her book "Made From Scratch" and find out how she created her very own handmade life. Visit her blog: http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/