After the holidays are over, it's time to kick back and relax. Time to rest and repair.
Light, bright limeade is just the thing.
When I've made limeade in the past, the flavor always fell flat. Finally, I figured out the problem; the essence of the lime is concentrated in the zest; so why not use it in the drink?
This method of infusing the syrup with the zest and straining it has produced the best limeade I've ever had, homemade or otherwise.
To make Limeade:
Into a small saucepan, zest 2 large limes and 1 medium lemon.
Add 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 cup natural sugar and 1 tablespoon mild honey (I used saguaro cactus-flower honey), or to taste.
Stirring constantly, bring just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse for at least 20 minutes; the longer it stands, the stronger the flavor.
Juice the zested limes and lemon, and add to the cooled syrup.
Taste the syrup; it should be tangy, with a nice balance of tart and sweet, and it should taste a little too strong; water is added later. Juice more limes and lemons & add to the syrup if needed. I find that 2 limes to 1 lemon strikes the perfect taste, but the ratio can be adjusted according to your taste.
Add water to taste, being conservative at first. If too much is added to the concentrate, the flavor will be too dilluted.
This will make about two really puckery 8-oz. drinks. This is easily doubled or tripled, and while you are going to the effort make syrup anyway, you may as well make a big batch. Trust me, it goes fast; I had to make 3 batches in one day! And any remaining concentrate can be refridgerated for up to 3 days. Not that it has any chance of lasting that long :)
Absolutely garnish with a mint sprig, if possible. (I usesd citrus mint, but any mint would be good)
Swirled through the drink, it adds a subtle hint of flavor, and you just can't beat what it adds to the presentation.
** an original recipe from any fig **