Lemongrass Lemonade

October 9, 2006

Lemongrass Lemonade

Sunset magazine, August 1990 (www.sunset.com)

You may be wondering why we have been receiving so much lemongrass … Our fellow CSA members in Flagstaff can’t get enough of it! A staple herb in many Southeast Asian cuisines, lemongrass has the fragrance of lemon peel but with more complex and tantalizing floral overtones. It often adds interest to spicy curries or stir-fries and to pungently seasoned soups and salads. Farmer Frank’s CSA in Flagstaff uses lemongrass to make a fragrant lemonade similar to the one below. Lemongrass keeps up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

5 cups water
1 cup lemongrass syrup (see below)
6 tablespoons lemon juice

In a 7- to 8-cup pitcher, mix water, lemongrass syrup, and lemon juice. Cover and chill up to overnight. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Makes 1-1/2 quarts (6 to 8 servings).

Lemongrass syrup: Cut off leafy top and peel tough outer layer from 3 stalks fresh lemongrass. Trim off and discard discolored or dry part of root ends. Cut trimmed, woody sections into 2-inch lengths and crush lightly with a mallet, or thinly slice crosswise.

In a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan, combine lemongrass and 1 cup each sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes. Cool; if made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 cup.

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