Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Lemonade

Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Lemonade
I'm finally back with a recipe. Sorry I've been lazy, I just have so much school work, so I haven't felt like posting. But, I've got a semi-new recipe for you today because it's a take on my Vanilla Bean Lemonade that I made back in June. It's slightly different since it includes one of my favorite fruits, Rainier Cherries. I don't get to buy these very often, but when I see them at the grocery store, I immediately grab for them. I just love 'em. So I thought, why not make some cherry lemonade? It would be just perfect for our anniversary picnic. But, we just adored that Vanilla Bean Lemonade, so why not combine them together. I still made a vanilla bean infused simple syrup like before, but I also steeped some fresh rainier cherries into it as well. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tart. And since we were taking this lemonade on a picnic, I decided to freeze some more rainier cherries to act as ice cubes in our drink because nothin' is worse that a watered down drink, y'all. I also think it would be delicious to muddle some cherries into the bottom of the glass and maybe add some booze. But of course, I always want to add booze. Such the alcoholic I am. Serve it in a big ole' mason jar or a wine glass for all I care, it's all good. It's the perfect Summer beverage and just hits the spot when it's hot outside!! Enjoy :)
Our Picnic: Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Lemonade, Brussel Sprout Slaw,
& Italian Sub Sandwiches
For the Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup:
1C Water
1C Honey
1-2 Vanilla Beans, Split & Scraped for Beans (depending on how strong you want it)
1lb Fresh Rainier Cherries, Pitted

For the Vanilla Bean Lemonade:
Prepared Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup, Chilled
1C Fresh Lemon Juice
3-4C Cold Water (or to your preferred strength)
1lb Fresh Rainier Cherries, Pitted & Frozen (to act as ice cubes for serving)

1. For the Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup: In a pot, heat the honey and water, whisking until the honey is dissolved completely. Add in the vanilla beans, their pods, and rainier cherries into the syrup and let them steep in the boiling syrup. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let the flavors meld for 3 hours. Once the syrup is thick and room temperature, strain the syrup (in order to remove the pods and softened cherries) and then pour the syrup into a container and chill overnight.   
2. For the Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Lemonade: Add the fresh lemon juice, chilled rainier cherry-vanilla bean infused simple syrup, and cold water (about 3-4C depending on the desired strength). Refrigerate the vanilla bean lemonade for an hour.   
3. When serving, fill mason jars with frozen rainier cherries (to act as ice cubes) and pour in the lemonade and garnish with lemon slices or fresh rainier cherries & a straw. I find that using frozen rainier cherries as ice cubes are especially helpful when taking this lemonade on a picnic because the lemonade will not be watered down by the time you get to enjoy them.

No comments:

Post a Comment