Yay! The grandsons have arrived for their annual vacation with us! That can only mean that summer’s here! They arrived Memorial Day weekend, sure it may be a few weeks before the official first day of summer, it’s June 20th. this year in case you want to know, but at our house summer officially begins the day Dion and Devon arrive.
Aside from ushering in summer the boys’ arrival also means I’ll be mixing up more refreshing drinks for them and their buddies who seem to gravitate at our house when they’re here. Instead of filling the kids on soda and juice boxes, which are on my daughter’s list of “do not give the boys”, I mix them up a variety of healthier alternatives. I like to use seasonal fruits to make summer drinks, popsicles, and other frozen treats.
This year we’re really into lemonades. We discovered Brazilian Lemonade on last year’s trip to Jordan and have been making it ever since. But to mix it up a bit I thought I’d experiment with lemonade, trying different fruits to mix in.
One of the best lemonades I’ve come up with so far is Frozen Mango Lemonade. It’s not just any lemonade, it’s a homemade slushie that can double as dessert, it’s that good!
It’s super easy to make and uses some of the fresh mangoes my husband comes home with every week. Yes, his mango guy is back this year supplying him with bushels of fresh ripe mango. This frozen mango lemonade is really one of the easiest ways to use up that mango supply.
But before you haul out the blender and start blending this summer you should really consider making a pint or so of simple syrup. Why you might ask do you need simple syrup and what exactly is it. Simple syrup is really just sugar water, you’ve seen it at Starbucks when you add sweetener to your coffee, they call it Liquid Sugar. Most mixologists (bartenders) use simple syrup in cocktails instead of plain granulated sugar, it mixes better. I’m sure you’ve seen undissolved sugar at the bottom of a glass of iced tea or lemonade, sugar may not easily dissolve in cold drinks. Well simple syrup solves this problem because it’s already dissolved. It’s really the best way to sweeten any cold drink you make including cocktails, except maybe a Manhattan that calls for a sugar cube.
I like to keep jars of simple syrup around specially during summer to sweeten all my cold beverages. It’s very easy to make and stores in the fridge for weeks. So here’s how to make a pint of simple syrup, you can cut the recipe in half, double, or triple it according to your needs. It’s super easy!
2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
Place sugar and water in saucepan and put it on the stove over medium high heat.
Stir until sugar dissolves, turn heat down to medium.
Simmer on stove for 5-10 minutes or until it thickens just a bit, the consistency is really up to you. I like my simple syrup a bit thicker, not quite the consistency of pancake syrup but not watery either.
Remove from heat and pour into pint size mason jar, keep it uncovered until it cools to room temperature.
Screw on the lid and store in fridge to use as needed.
Sometimes I make it using a 2:1 ratio, 4 cups sugar to 2 cups water. This gives you a higher concentration of sugar meaning you use less to sweeten beverages, but this takes a bit longer for the sugar to dissolve. Either way is fine, it’s really up to you.
4 Oz. Minute Maid Pure Lemon Juice from Concentrate – you can find this in the frozen juice section. It’s sold in plastic bottles. Thaw it out to use.
2 Large Ripe Mangoes, peeled and sliced off the seed
1/4 cup simple syrup, or add to suit your taste
Place lemon juice, mango slices, and simple syrup in blender and puree. After it’s pureed you may want to taste it to see if it’s sweet enough, if not add more simple syrup until it is.
Fill blender pitcher to the top with ice cubes.
Blend until all the ice cubes are dissolved, you should end up with a thick slush.
Pour into a pitcher or glass and serve.
See very easy!
By the way grown ups can add a shot of rum for a frozen cocktail. Add the rum at the same time as the other ingredients and blend before adding in ice cubes. Trust me it’s delish! I’ve been doing this for years for me and my girlfriends, but we call them Mango Daquiris!