Salazars-Lemonade
Food + Drink

Lemonade Remade

Need some help dressing up summer’s favorite refresher? From ginger to basil to lavender, we’ve got you covered.

We aren’t looking to fill our glasses with prepackaged powders or pale yellow juice from a jug this season. Lemonade should burst with fresh acidity that’s balanced by a gentle sweetness. It should deliver a pure citrus zing that makes us pucker our cheeks and lick our lips.

That’s why the stuff served at Salazar restaurant in Cincinnati is juiced daily. Chef Jose Salazar says it’s the only way to ensure you get the satisfying tartness you’re looking for.

“If you squeeze lemons or use them well in advance, they get kind of funky,” he says. “You don’t get that great acid, so it really boils down to making it fresh. Squeezing the lemon at that moment.”

Salazar’s lemonade is offered on the restaurant’s lunch menu as a bright counterpart to the restaurant’s afternoon fare. And, like any good lemonade, there’s a kid behind its creation.

“We used to have a cocktail on our menu that had [berry] ice cubes in it,” says Salazar. “My son came in for lunch one day, and he loves lemonade so he asked for one. … [The bartender] shook the lemonade up with the cubes, and that is how we started serving it.”

While the specialty ice cubes only make an appearance in the summer, a splash of soda water gives the drink a festive feel year round. “Paying attention to the little things, like putting a little splash of soda in there, really gives it that little bit of effervescence,” says Salazar.

For a treat, Salazar’s bar manager Andrew Rettig concocted variations on the base lemonade recipe and for those, Salazar says, balance is key.

“We figure fresh and delicious and great — just like you would make a fresh, delicious cocktail,” says Salazar.

In the delicately scented Lavender Lemonade, “the lemon really tames the potent floral flavor that lavender has,” explains Salazar. It, along with the restaurant’s Berry Basil Lemonade and Ginger Limeade, are the perfect set of citrus pick-me-ups to enliven your glass all summer long. Salazar, 1401 Republic St., Cincinnati, 45202, 513/621-7000, salazarcincinnati.com


Salazar’s Lemonade

INGREDIENTS
1.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2.25 ounces citrus simple syrup (recipe follows)
4 ounces soda water

DIRECTIONS
Fill cocktail shaker with ice, combine ingredients and shake. Strain into glass over ice, and top with soda water. Garnish with lemon twist.

Citrus Simple Syrup

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 entire orange peels (use a vegetable peeler, no pith)
1 entire lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler, no pith)

DIRECTIONS
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool. Strain before using.      Salazars Lemonade

Chef's Tip: You can prepare larger batches of any of these recipes up to 12 hours before your get-together. Refrigerate the mix, but don't add ice or soda until you're ready to serve. 



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SHAKE IT UP!

Try these ingredient variations from Salazar to give your lunchtime lemonade a flavor boost. An easy way to amp up a drink, simple syrups can be infused with a variety of flavors and can last up to a week in your refrigerator.


Ginger Limeade

INGREDIENTS
1.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
.75 ounces citrus syrup (see recipe on pg. 138)
1.5 ounces standard simple syrup (recipe follows)
4 thin (1/16 to 1/8 inch) slices ginger
4 ounces ginger beer

DIRECTIONS
Muddle ginger in bottom of shaker. Fill shaker with ice, combine ingredients and shake. Strain into glass over ice, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime twist.

Standard Simple Syrup

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

DIRECTIONS
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool.       Ginger Limeade

Ginger Limeade

  
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Lavender Lemonade


INGREDIENTS
1.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
.75 ounces citrus simple syrup (see recipe on pg. 138)
1.5 ounces lavender simple syrup (recipe follows)
4 ounces soda water

DIRECTIONS
Fill cocktail shaker with ice, combine ingredients and shake. Strain into glass over ice, and top with soda water. Garnish with lemon twist.

Lavender Simple Syrup

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 sprigs fresh lavender

DIRECTIONS
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool. Strain before using.     Lavendar Lemonade

Lavendar Lemonade

    
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Berry Basil Lemonade


INGREDIENTS
1.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
.75 ounces citrus syrup (see recipe on pg. 138)
1.5 ounces basil simple syrup (recipe follows)
1/4 cup blackberries, blueberries or raspberries
4 ounces soda water

DIRECTIONS
Muddle berries in bottom of shaker. Fill shaker with ice, combine ingredients and shake. Strain into glass over ice, and top with soda water. Garnish with basil leaf.

Basil Simple Syrup

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

DIRECTIONS
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool. Blanch basil leaves in lightly salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. Shock the basil in ice water. Place the syrup and basil in a blender and blend until smooth.    Berry Basil Lemonade

Berry Basil Lemonade


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WEB EXTRA: Make it a Cocktail

Want to put a little kick into these creations? Chef Jose Salazar offers his take on what liquors to match with each twist on lemonade. “An ounce and a half if your traditional pour for most cocktails,” he explains. “And, an ounce and a half [of liquor] is still a drink that is light and refreshing.”

Salazar's Lemonade:
Gin or Vodka
Lavender Lemonade: Gin or Vodka
Berry Basil Lemonade: Vodka or Tequila
Ginger Limeade: Bourbon or Rum

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