The Wednesday Tipple – lemonade with thyme lemon syrup and patriotic ice cubes, and teenage oppression at the Liberty Bell

Lemonade for recipe Jon and I arrived in Philadelphia on a sunny Saturday. We sat on the top deck of the tour bus digesting our cheesesteak sandwiches, and watched selected highlights of the city glide past in the sunshine. “Here’s Betsy Ross’s House. In addition to sewing the first American flag she outlived 3 husbands, so as you can imagine, she was one busy lady!

“And here we are at the mint, which is one of only 4 coin producing mints in the United States. You can tell if the coin in your pocket was made right here in Phili because it will have a P indented into it. Pennies are the most expensive coins to produce, costing 2.75 pence each.”

Fascinating stuff.

Drama was occurring at the Liberty Bell. As we shuffled round the poster boards that told the story of slavery and women’s suffrage, we could hear a high keening moaning. The source was a tweenage girl slumped against the wall.

“You don’t understand me at all! This is sooo unfair!” Stamp, stamp, weep, weep. “Liberty? You call forcing me to go to a museum at the weekend Liberty?!”

It was time to sit in the park with a cool drink.

Sitting in the park in Philly

Homemade lemonade with thyme lemon syrup and patriotic ice cubes (serves 6)

The proportions are what’s important for lemonade. For every cup of lemon juice you want 3 cups of water / soda water, and ¼ to ½ cup sugar syrup to taste. 6 big lemons = about 1 cup of juice

6 large lemons
3 cups water or soda water
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
3 thyme sprigs
Zest peeled off 1 of the lemons
 
  • Put the ½ cup of sugar and water in a pan along with the thyme and the lemon zest. Simmer gently until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and strain
  • Juice the lemons and pour into a jug, top up with the water or soda water and add the syrup to taste (I use about ¼ cup, but I like my lemonade quite sour)

Syrup

For the ice cubes

A handful of raspberries
A handful of blueberries
Water
 
  • Drop the raspberries and blueberries in any combination into an ice cube tray
  • Top up with water and freeze for 3 hours

Lemonade

If You Can Make That You Can Make This

  • Add gin to the lemonade to give it an adult edge
  • Or try this hard lemonade, which uses sugar and mint blended instead of a syrup
  • Swap out the thyme in the syrup for mint, and garnish with a bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • Make an Arnold Palmer by mixing the lemonade with iced tea (again, adding gin is a good idea)
  • Turn that into an Arnold Palmer ice pop

 

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