Spritzy Ginger Lemonade
- 8 average-sized lemons
- 2 cups (475 ml) cold water
- 1 cup (235 ml) spicy simple syrup (below)
- club soda or sparkling wine, for serving
- Lemon peels from lemons squeezed for juice above
- 2-inch segment fresh ginger, peeled, very thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup (235 ml) water
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
The lemonade is not terribly sweet, and you can control this level by adding more or less syrup. The ferocity of the ginger and spice are tamed deliciously in a lemon syrup, and leave you with a brighter and more cooling lemonade.
- Halve seven of the lemons, and roughly cut off the zest and part of white pith in large segments, leaving enough pith intact so that lemons retain their shape. Toss the peels into a small saucepan and reserve. Juice the lemons—you’re looking for 1 cup (235 ml) of lemon juice. Set aside.
- Add the ginger, cayenne, 1 cup water, and 1 cup sugar to the saucepan with the lemon peels. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cool completely, then strain the syrup. Discard ginger and peels.
- Mix the lemon juice, 2 cups cold water, and 1 cup spicy simple syrup in a large pitcher. Fill the glasses three-quarters of the way with ice cubes. Pour the lemonade two-thirds of the way up the glass, then top off with club soda or sparkling wine. Give it a quick stir, prop a lemon wedge from the remaining lemon on the rim, and cool off with a zing.