Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rhubarb lemonade

I make lemonade from bottled lemon juice throughout the year.  Here is a frugal version of lemonade, for those who grow rhubarb (unless, of course, what you have in your yard are lemons).

In spring and summer I stretch the lemon juice concentrate by using a rhubarb infusion for half of the tangy flavoring in lemonade.  Rhubarb lemonade tastes more like fruit punch and less like lemonade, but I call it pink lemonade, anyways.

Begin with the infusion:

2-3 stalks rhubarb, chopped into 4 pieces each (more rhubarb for more tang, less for a milder drink)
4 cups water

Place rhubarb and water in a stainless saucepan.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain out the rhubarb pieces.

Use this infusion for the liquid in your lemonade.
To 1 quart of infusion add:

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar (according to your preference).

This makes a little over 1 quart.  My cost is about 25 cents (lemon juice and sugar), or about 6 cents for an 8 oz. serving.  Compare that to soda pop!  I buy the sugar in a 50 lb. sack at the cash and carry wholesaler/restaurant supply for about $29, and the lemon juice in a 32 oz. container at the dollar store, for $1. My savings making it with rhubarb for half of the lemon flavoring, about 6 cents, so okay not huge (won't become a millionaire on that), but still.  It's those little things that add up.  But mostly, it's such a pretty drink.

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