Kool-Aid rocked my socks when I was little. Picture a little blonde haired, sticky fingered, slobby shirt mini-me running around the neighborhood with a bright red tropical punch Kool-Aid mustache. It was pretty much a daily occurrence in the summer. We loved the stuff and drank it by the gallon. So many delicious fruit-filled flavors. And the colors! Oh, the spectrum of fake reds, blues and purples, ready to stain any sort of fabric, surface or skin it came in contact with. (Come on, everyone rocked a Kool-Aid stained t-shirt at some point in their life. Gotta coordinate with that mustache.) It wasn’t like it was pop or anything…so it’s not like it’s bad for you, right? True there is nothing in that powder that comes from any sort of fruit, but it’s mostly water so….can’t be too high in calories, don’t you think?
I actually have no clue about the nutritional value of this kiddie drink. I could look it up but…….yeah, not going to happen. Instead, I just spent a minute Googling and YouTube-ing (new word?) the Kool-Aid Man and wondering how it’s possible we didn’t all have nightmares as kids because that thing is all kinds of freaky-deaky.
I had Kool-Aid on the brain because I made a SPECTACULAR Strawberry Lemonade over the weekend that turned out to be a gorgeous pinky-red that looks JUST like our childhood fave. The main difference…this one is all natural, made with real fruit and has not a speck of mystery chemical dye. And it tastes 110% better than anything from a powder or jug you can get at the store.
This fab summer drink gets its color from boiling strawberries and sugar in water, crushing up the fruit and straining out the pulp. Add your freshly squeezed lemon juice and ta-da! A delicious drink with a great color! I contemplated adding a bit more lemon juice, as I tend to like my lemonade drinks a bit more tart than the average person, but in the end I decided to follow the recipe exactly. Next time I will add more lemon. It’s very good as is, not overly sweet, but I need a bit more of a lemon punch.
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE (Recipe Source: MyRecipes.com)
- 3 or 4 lemons
- About 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Thin lemon slices (optional)
1. Cut the lemons in half and ream juice from them. Pour the juice through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup and discard the seeds and pulp. You should have 1/2 cup. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Place 4 cups water, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and strawberries in a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir often with a spoon and, using the back of it, crush the berries. Continue to boil, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled.
3. Pour the chilled syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher; discard the pulp. Add the lemon juice to syrup and stir well. Taste, and adjust to desired sweetness.
4. Pour lemonade into glasses. Serve with ice cubes and garnish with thin lemon slices.
Note: Recipe makes four 8 oz. servings. Double to refresh more of your friends! :)
PS….aren’t these handled mason jar glasses super cute?? I LOVE them! They were on super clearance at World Market the last time I was there (um, not around here….we don’t have cool stores around here). When I saw they were less than a dollar each, I snatched them up! I just couldn’t resist!