Beat the heat: how to make refreshing mint lemonade
During Ramadan countries across the Middle East & North Africa have a variety of drinks that are a staple on their iftar table. From amar al-din (an apricot juice) to jallab (a blend of dates, carob, grape mollasses and rose water) street vendors are overflowed with so many different colours and flavours ready for when the sun goes down.
When I was growing up we went to visit my family in Jordan every summer. One of my favourite things was to go to the balad - or what they refer to as downtown - where I would shop for cool souvenirs at the little vending stalls and eat my way through as many local delicacies as possible.
Every corner had some sort of juicing stand, many of which would sell mint lemonade, my all-time favourite drink. The vendors would squeeze fresh lemons and blend them with mint that was so fragrant you could smell it before you even reached the stall. And the ice! It was heaped on so much that you ended up with a slush-like lemonade. On extra hot days I would order two.
I was in heaven. Mint lemonade: my favourite drink, with some of my favourite memories.
Preparation time: 10 mins
- 200g (½ cup) sugar
- 250ml (1 cup) water, divided into 2
- 160ml (⅔ cup) fresh lemon juice
- 15g (½ cup) mint leaves
- 420g (3 cups) ice cubes
- Add the sugar and 125ml (½ cup) water in a saucepan.
- Heat over a medium heat till the sugar is dissolved, and then cool.
- Add the cooled syrup, 125ml (½ cup) water, 160ml (⅔ cup) lemon juice, fresh mint and ice cubes into the blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour into cups and enjoy!