1–1/2 cups water
1–1/2 cups organic cane sugar or Rain’s Choice Vanilla Sugar
1 cup lemon juice (4 – 6 lemons)
Simple syrup to taste
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract
4 cups sparkling water or to taste
For the Simple Syrup
In small saucepan, mix the water and sugar and bring to a boil.
Stir well so that the sugar is all dissolved and then turn the heat to medium and allow to cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until it begins to get syrupy.
Allow the syrup to cool.
For the Lemonade
Mix part of the simple syrup with the lemon juice.
Add the sparkling water and taste. You will need less syrup with Meyer lemons as they are a little sweeter and less acid.
Add syrup until you have the balance of sweetness you like.
Add in extract to taste. You don’t need much, but it helps to cut the acidity, especially with tart fruit.
Mix well and add more sparkling water if the lemonade is a little stronger than you like. However, if you are adding ice, it will dilute some, so be judicious.
Garnish with mint or lemon slices if desired.
If it’s a special party, rinse off some vanilla beans and use them as swizzle sticks. They’re unbelievably aromatic in beverages and make a great party favor as they can be used again.
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