Spike your lemonade

  • By Lauren Viera Chicago Tribune
  • Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:01am
  • Life

To those pining for the summertime lemonade of your youth: Cheers.

Resurrect the perfect pitcher of refreshing lemonade, upgraded for adults with citrus-friendly spirits like bourbon and rye.

Concocted by Chicago mixologist Todd Appel, both of these spirited lemonades capitalize on whiskey’s surprisingly delicious dynamic against seasonal fruit, way more fun than plain old vodka-lemonades.


2 3/4 cups sugar

3 cups water

Zest and strained juice from 8 lemons (11/2 cups juice)

Simmer the sugar and 11/2 cups water in a sauce pan, stirring constantly. Heat to a simmer, ensuring that all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; allow to cool until room temperature. Add zest into syrup to steep, 30 minutes. Strain zest from syrup. Combine with lemon juice and remaining 11/2 cups water. Chill.

Can be prepared a day in advance

Makes approximately 32 ounces.

Summer peach bourbon lemonade

8 ripe, medium-size peaches

1 bottle (750 milliliters) bourbon

32 ounces lemonade (see recipe)

2 lemons, thinly sliced into wheels

Fresh mint sprigs

Remove stones from peaches, leave the peel. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine bourbon and peaches in a large nonreactive container. Cover; let steep, at least 1 hour or overnight. Add lemonade; allow to rest, 20 minutes.

For each serving, pour bourbon lemonade into a chilled, ice-filled Collins glass. Add some of the bourbon-soaked peaches. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Cherry rye whiskey lemonade

1 quart fresh, pitted sour cherries

1 bottle (750 milliliters) rye whiskey

32 ounces cherry lemonade (see note)

2 lemons, thinly sliced into wheels

Strain cherries from cherry lemonade. Combine rye and cherries in a large nonreactive container. Cover; let steep at least 1 hour or overnight. Add lemonade to the cherries and rye; allow to rest for 20 minutes.

For each serving, pour rye lemonade into a chilled, ice-filled Collins glass. Add some of the rye-soaked cherries. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Note: For cherry lemonade, adapt basic lemonade recipe, adding cherries to lemon syrup to soak unrefrigerated for 3 hours or overnight; add more lemon syrup to taste.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

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