Wow, after a rather phenomenal April, followed by a somewhat lackluster May (that's putting it mildly), June has come in like a true tiger! The sun is out, there isn't a cloud in the sky, and the temperatures are wonderfully toasty here in Montreal. Among other things, this means the streets are hopping, the terraces are packed, there are line-ups out the doors of the city's ice cream shops, and people all across the city are dining al fresco. It also means it's officially time for summer beverages. A week ago I convinced our friend Hermine that it was time to start thinking in terms of gin and tequila, not, say, scotch, in spite of the chilly, soggy, generally miserable weather we were having. I'd like to think the gin and tonics we put away late last week helped drive out the dreariness once and for all.
Orangeade is a nice way to usher in the balmy temperatures. Just juice whatever oranges, lemons, and limes you have around the house in whatever ratio suits your tastes, then pour the juice in a large pitcher. Add water to fill up the pitcher. Then sweeten the mixture according to your tastes using the Simple Sugar Syrup recipe below (you'll never encounter that "adding granulated sugar to a cold drink" problem again). Add a bunch of ice cubes to give the orangeade a nice chill, then serve. A sprig of mint as a garnish is always nice.
We served our first orangeade of the season with a small piece of these little Honey-Ginger Pound Cakes Michelle made last night at Les Chèvres.
Simple Sugar Syrup
8 tablespoons of white sugar
1 cup of water
1 small piece of fresh ginger (optional)
Add ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Let it cool before adding it to your favorite summer drink, be it iced tea, lemonade, orangeade, or whatever. You can keep the remaining syrup in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for your next batch.