Sweet Cherry Lemonade
Source of Recipe
From "Sweet Home Café Cookbook" by Albert Lukas
"Lemonade is popular throughout the South, and the addition of homemade sweet cherry syrup turns it red, making it an ideal drink for Juneteenth picnics and celebrations. Red drinks are traditional at Juneteenth events and may recall the celebratory hibiscus and kola nut teas of West Africa."
List of Ingredients
Sweet Cherry Syrup:
◦ 1 pound pitted fresh or frozen Bing cherries
◦ ¾ cup sugar
◦ 1 cup water
◦ 1 ½ cups sugar
◦ 8 cups cold water, divided
◦ 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 10 lemons
◦ 2 lemons, thinly sliced and seeded, for garnish
To make the Sweet Cherry Syrup:
Combine the cherries, sugar, and water in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing against the solids to extract as much syrup as possible. Pour into a bottle and chill well before using.
To make the lemonade:
Combine the sugar and 1 cup of the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Add the lemon juice and the remaining 7 cups water to the cooled sugar water and mix well. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, until well chilled. Serve the chilled lemonade over ice in tall glasses. Invite guests to sweeten it to their liking with the Sweet Cherry Syrup.
Makes 2 ½ quarts