This recipe, (sorry there's no picture) is my favorite anytime beverage to make when we have company. I pull out my fancy 1940's punch bowl to serve it in and it reminds me of my grandma Elee Hollins and how she'd have the entire family... about 20 of us over on Sunday afternoons after church for family Sunday "dinner" (which was really like an early supper at around 2pm). There was almost always roast chicken, steamed rice, gravy, sweet dinner rolls fresh from the oven, either green beans or greens straight from grandma's garden, and a big punch bowl full of lemonade, made from fresh tart lemons, usually from a tree in the backyard, squeezed by hand. Hers didn't have mint or fruit floating around in it, and she used regular granulated sugar. Mine is an updated, organic, sparkling, and has a slightly herbaceous taste which goes well with all kinds of foods. On a hot summer day, it's hard to resist and from what I've found, keeps party guests coming back to the punch bowl over and over and over.
This recipe yields about 12-16 servings depending on the glass size. You can make the syrup ahead up to 4-5 days, and add the rest the day you'll serve it. Multiplying the recipe works great too. I usually triple or quadruple it at the syrup stage and lemon squeezing stage so that at parties I can quickly refill the punch bowl when it is inevitably empty.
FOR THE GINGER SYRUP
1 cup of Water
2/3 cups of Evaporated Sugar Cane Juice, Turbinado, or Raw Sugar (or 1 cup of honey, maple, etc)
4 inch piece of fresh Ginger
Heat all 3 ingredients in a saucepan til boiling. Reduce fire and simmer for about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
FOR THE LEMONADE
1 recipe of Ginger Syrup (see above)
1 cup of fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
1 bunch of fresh Mint leaves
1 cup of Blueberries
5 cups of Sparkling Water
4 cups of plain Water
Mix syrup, lemon juice and waters in the punch bowl or other beverage vessel.
Break the mint into small sprigs and crush them in your palm to release the flavor.
Add mint and blueberries to the liquids and mix everything together. Add ice and serve!!
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