Make Your Own Gourmet Lemonade Party

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In the story of our life, the story I write in my head for the days stretching far out into the expanse of our future, the hubby and I move our children to a neighborhood deep in the south. We live in a freshly painted home the color of a melon with perwinkle gingerbread accents and pure white trim. There is a white fence out front and a porch with a cushioned swing which hums itself back and forth on steamy summer nights.

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Fireflies flit themselves through treelined streets as the children run barefoot, shouting “Olly Olly Oxen Free” to hidden neighbor friends. Parents are perched on porches, leaning on picket fences, fanning themselves with folded sheets of newspaper with one hand while the other hand curls around a cool glass of lemonade. The husbands are in khaki pants and blue, collared shirts. The wives wear ringlet curls and polka-dot dresses.

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We sigh at the summer heat. We sip our glasses filled with sweet, lemony nectar. We wave at the sunkissed children playing in the twinkling twilight. We tip our heads toward each other, eyes shining with the light of fireflies and the heat of passion.

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Ahhh, life in the South. Won’t that be the loveliest?

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And, if you live in the South, don’t you dare tell me this isn’t exactly what your summer’s are like. I’d have a really hard time considering my future without fireflies and lemonade and polka-dot dresses.

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Though, I might be willing to settle for a cold glass of lemonade on a sunny Colorado afternoon while John tends to the lawn and the kids chase the chihuahua. Yep, I could definitely go for that instead.

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Gourmet Lemonade Syrup Concentrate
As simple as gourmet comes, yeilding enough concentrate to make glass after glorious glass of this sweet, fresh lemonade with just a titch of added flavor for interest. How lovely is that?!
3 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 c. sugar
2 whole nutmeg
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/2 vanilla bean (one with the seeds already scraped out)
1/4 tsp. almond flavoring
In a large saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the lemon juice and all of the sugar. Add the whole nutmeg, dash of nutmeg, vanilla bean and almond flavoring. Stir together over medium-high heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove and stir in remaining lemon juice. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To make lemonade: add three parts of water to one part of lemonade concentrate.
To host a lemonade party: Serve glasses of lemonade with Pure Fruit Icecubes, allowing guests to mix and match their own flavors. Serve with boba tea straws, if you can find them, giving guests the option of sucking up all the fruit hunks of flavored ice they’ve dropped into their lemonade.
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Pure Fruit Icecubes
A glass of lemonade is a true treat. But a glass of lemonade that you get to customize with colored cubes of frozen fruit? Well, that’s just a dream come true for kids and adults alike. Absolutely a dream come true.
2 c. prepared Gourmet Lemonade
Variation of fresh fruits to puree in blender
(try kiwi, berries, mangos, guava, limes, watermelon, cherries)
In a blender, add a single type of fresh fruit (use several tablespoons of prepared lemonade if needed to thin out for complete pureeing). Blend well, pureeing entirely or leaving just a touch of chunkiness if desired. Pour pureed fruit into ice cube trays. Freeze. Drop into glasses of fresh Gourmet Lemonade. Enjoy!

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Where do your dreams see you spending summertime?

Whereever Melanie, from The Crafty Cupboard is, she’ll be enjoying it with her adorable Land of Nod picnic basket! Congrats Melanie! And, thanks to everyone who commented on their S’mores Pie mixins. Nutella and Hazelnuts? Caramel and Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Pie? Why, yes. I think I will, thank you.

And speaking of dreams, one of mine came true this weekend, when I received word from the editors of Scholastic’s Parent & Child magazine that, after being nominated by some you incredible readers, I’ve been selected as a finalist in the 2010 Parent Blogger Awards. However can I thank you for the honor? I’d be delighted if you’d help me bring home victory by taking a few minutes to VOTE for Cheeky Kitchen by clicking HERE. Thank you!

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33 Responses to “Make Your Own Gourmet Lemonade Party”

  1. 1

    Paula on May 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm Reply

    Brooke….this sounds so yummy and refreshing!! I'm planning to have this refreshing beverage at our next Enrichment…the girls will LOVE it! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! Congratulations on being selected as a finalist in the 2010 Parent Blogger Awards. Good luck! Thanks sweetie…hope to see you again this summer!

  2. 2

    Eliana on May 24, 2010 at 4:49 am Reply

    What a fun idea for a summertime treat. I dream of spending my summer drinking beverages like these.

  3. 3

    mangiabella on May 24, 2010 at 9:09 am Reply

    hiya cupcake! i was just telling my husband last weekend how i am going to start making my own lemonade because i can't stand paying $5 for a 1/2 gallon of fresh squeezed lemonade and then it's gone in just a few glasses…..lol…..and low and behold you post this fabulous treat….great minds really do think alike! and i usually put a mint leave and a raspberry in my ice cube trays to add a little color and flavor to my water or tea or lemonade but i LOVE your pureed fruit concoction! you are fabulous my dear – (those are also great to put in the NUBY for teething babies!!!) i will absolutely vote for your blog in the parent blogger awards and tell all my friends and family as well – what a milestone! and well deserved dahling – BRAVO!!!!!

  4. 4

    Julie on May 24, 2010 at 9:42 am Reply

    What a great idea! Those ice cubes look yummy :) I voted for your blog too. Love your blog so much <3

  5. 5

    writing4612 on May 24, 2010 at 10:08 am Reply

    Yep, that's definitely a life of a Southerner. :)

    That looks so refreshing!

  6. 6

    Nathan and Bethany on May 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm Reply

    I think our dream houses are on the same street! Mine has a wide front porch with lots of seating where Nathan, whom I will now call "Big Daddy" and I fan ourselves and plan what we will be wearing to the cotillion, all the while dramatically lit by mason jars with tea lights in them hanging from our magnolia trees.

  7. 7

    Veeda on May 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm Reply

    I love the lemonade syrup concentrate and giving guest opportunities to mix their own flavors. Super fun party idea!

  8. 8

    Trendsetters on May 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm Reply

    wowwy wow…great for a summer day…

  9. 9

    It's All Good on May 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm Reply

    I think this will go perfect for my Carnival themed party next month! =)

  10. 10

    Sara on May 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm Reply

    This is such a great idea! I love the idea of brightening up a glass of lemonade with a fruit icecube – adding a touch of another flavor. Yum!

  11. 11

    Ashley on May 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Brooke – congrats on the nomination! Very much deserved indeed. I love your blog and your recipes are to die for.

    PS. I am a Southerner and you almost hit the nail on the head :-)

  12. 12

    MEvans on May 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm Reply

    if it ever stops raining, I'll serve this at our next neighbors on the porch night! Sounds wonderful!

    Last summer I remember you mentioning a little summer school group you were doing. I'm looking for ideas for one of my own and wondered if you might share? Thanks!

  13. 13

    Leeshy on June 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm Reply

    Yes, lemonade. Fireflies.
    Fresh herbs. Firecrackers.
    Popsicles.
    Summer in the south IS glorious.
    You are very welcome to visit anytime :) but I wouldn't recommend August!

    Still working on that polka dot dress, but now I am inspired.

    Thanks for this Ms. Brooke.

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    Tatiana on September 9, 2011 at 12:01 am Reply

    Your post was quoted on my blog, with credits as a way to boost drinks with liquor.

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