It's the nearing the end of summer, but temperatures have not been letting up. It's that nasty time of summer when the air is humid and thick. That time of year I do my best to avoid the subway, aka New York City version of Hades.
Most can agree: not many things come close to a refreshing beverage to cool your jets. Personally, lemonade is the ideal summertime drink. My mother would make it from scratch and I remember as kids we would groan because she never used as much sugar as we wanted. Well I'm all grown up now and continuing the tedious, but satisfying task of making summertime lemonade. I'm not sneaking in excessive sugar to please an eight year old palate, but I do like experimenting with different flavor elements. I usually take advantage of what's in season and add various fruits or herbs. Lately my favorites have been blueberries, white peaches or (surprise, surprise) basil.
Today's version comes with a Far East twist: matcha. I'm a green tea fanatic and it's been some time since I've posted a matcha recipe. I implemented the matcha with my lemonade this morning and each sip was curiously delicious. Don't be skeptical of the funky green color - this unique combination will give you a natural boost due to the matcha while the lemon and mint will invigorate you!
matcha mint lemonade
serves 4-6, 20 min prep time + cooling time
2 tablespoons food grade matcha
1/4 cup warm water
4 cups hot water
1 lemon, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 bundle of mint
Pour 1/4 cup warm water over matcha and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Juice the lemons into a small bowl. Use a strainer to catch the seeds.
In a large juice container, mix the 4 cups of hot water with sugar until crystals are dissolved. Steep half of the mint leaves in hot water and set aside for about 15 minutes.
Remove the leaves from the juice and discard.
Add the lemon juice to the sugar water and mix thoroughly.
Next, add the matcha to the lemon and sugar juice and continue to mix.
Place your matcha lemonade aside to cool or in the refrigerator. (Note, if you're using a glass container and it still feels warm to the touch, do not immediately place in refrigerator or freezer - the sudden change in temperature will cause the glass to crack it shatter!)
When the lemonade is chilled, pour into glasses and garnish wth lemon slices and mint leaves. I added a rosemary sprig just for an extra dose of flavor!