There are a group of abandoned houses that the City of San Pablo bought and are now vacant, behind my mom’s complex. There used to be a mobile home park there too, and people actually grew a lemon tree. The tree produced fruit not long ago and with no people around to spray pesticides on it, the lemons are organic. There is nothing to compare to naturally grown, tree ripened lemons made into lemonade. Like liquid candy.
To make the lemonade I slice two lemons into eighths and then just peel the rinds off the wedges. Next, I dump about four cups of Zulka unrefined sugar into the blender, throw in the two so peeled and wedged lemons (seeds and all) and fill to the top with filtered water. I pulse blend for about two minutes pouring the resulting concentrate into a wide mouth Mason Jar. I like the pulp but most people don’t so…, strain or skim off before adding the sugar if you are one of those folks. Refrigerating overnight gives the flavor time to mature.
Next morning, I pour about a fourth of a glass full of the lemonade concentrate into a chilled tumbler and fill the rest with cold filtered water. I like making concentrate because it is easier to adjust the flavor if you want more sweetness or less lemonyness for that particular serving plus, it takes up less space in the fridge. I blend up two additional cups of just sugar and water to make a syrup to make sweetening easier. If you are entertaining, you can cover the bottom of a plate with sugar to twist the rim of the chilled tumbler in, then garnish with a split lemon slice, rind still on. If you really want to impress, float a sprig of fresh mint leaves tilted to the side.
For hard lemonade (I no longer drink myself), I would suggest Appleton Rum Estate Special Gold or Southern Comfort. Chill the booze overnight in the freezer and then add a little to the lemonade after it is poured, the temperature difference will cause it to float and will give the glass a nice color gradient, especially over ice. Serve with a straw so your guest doesn’t get a straight shot of floating booze and it will eventually blend from the jostling of the glass.
Do not add ice unless you have made the ice cubes from the diluted lemonade concentrate itself. Just make a regular glass of lemonade and then fill an ice cube tray with it. Crushed lemonade ice can be made in the blender with a little finished lemonade. Doing it this way will ensure that your served lemonade doesn’t dilute when the ice starts to melt.
I usually just chug two full stainless steel malt glasses sans sugar frost nor garnishes and start the day . Enjoy and drink responsibly!
Appleton Rum Estate Special Gold (750 ML)
GOLD MEDAL SAN FRANCISCO SPIRITS COMPETITION. One of the oldest and best rum producing distilleries.
|Company :||Southern Comfort|
|Country :||USA, Kentucky|
Layer Upon Layer
Meet the pousse-café, a.k.a. a layered drink, a.k.a. a stacked drink. It might look like an expertly made latte, or a Rocket Pop, and that’s all fine and dandy. What it actually is, though? A drink with several different types of liquid (typically between three and seven) carefully layered on top of each other. It’s an eye-catching effect because it looks like it defies the laws of physics.
The sweeter something is, the denser it will be and thus more likely to sink. But, the more alcoholic it is, the less dense it will become, and will be more likely to float. Grenadine, which has tons of sugar and no alcohol, sinks like a boxer throwing a fight. Bacardi 151, which is low in sugar but high in alcohol, floats like a 5th grader on Robitussin. It’s all the liquids in between, however—those multi-colored liqueurs which are necessary for the drink’s distinctive look—that are a little harder to pin down, since they all have different ratios of water, sugar, and alcohol (plus whatever else is in them).
There are a few simple rules to follow:
- You want to use a narrow glass to maximize the thickness of each layer without using a ton of booze. There actually is a specific pousse-café glass, but only your crazy aunt has those, and do you really want to go over there and borrow one? No. Just use a champagne flute or a skinny shot glass.
- The order in which you pour is the most important aspect. You want to start with the liquid that has the greatest specific gravity, and decrease as you ascend. That way they liquids won’t try to pass through each other, which will mostly likely just end in blending. Terrible stupid blending! Start with the sweetest, least-alcoholic liquid, and go up from there until you have the least-sweet, most-alcoholic liquid at the top.
- Pouring technique is critically important. This definitely takes a steady hand. If you pour too fast, the top layer will plunge down into the one under it, which will cause mixing. That ain’t pretty, and prettiness is what this drink is all about (prettiness and science). The top of a bar spoon (as Tim demonstrates in the video) is pretty much the ideal tool, but you can pour over the back of a regular spoon, too. Just position the spoon right above the last layer, and pour as slowly as humanly possible. This is why bartenders hate you for ordering these.