It has been raining in Virginia pretty much nonstop for about 15 years. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s definitely been some dreary weather. My friend Emily of 80 Plates Ecuador fame emailed and asked if I was ready to learn some Mexican cuisine and mentioned beverages. I hadn’t really considered finding out if different countries had a beverage, but I was intrigued at rounding out some of the cooking we’ve done using beverage recipes.
So the other night, I was upstairs pondering the map and talking things over with the General and we made a list of potential countries. One of them was Panama. I went online yesterday to find Panamanian cuisine and voila! I found a site by a couple of returned Peace Corps volunteers who had a recipe for limonada (Lemonade). According to them, during citrus season in Panama, there are so many lemons, you can’t give them away, much less sell them, so a popular thing to do is to make lemonade.
I suggested it to Michael as something we try and he agreed! I had 2/3 of the ingredients and decided to pick up some extra lemons today and we’d have limonada with our dinner, which incidentally was a repeat of Greece. I wanted souvlaki, damnit!
Ok, so it’s pretty easy to make limonada. All you do is boil up a cup of water and mix in something called raspadura, which is a type of sugar. Unfortunately, my stores don’t carry raspadura, and yes, I checked several. The recipe suggested that I substitute dark brown cane sugar or molasses if I couldn’t get hold of raspadura, so I used some Sugar In the Raw that I’ve had in my pantry for forever.
Anyway, once the water has boiled, you toss in either 1 cake of raspadura or a half cup of whatever sugar you are using as a substitute and then stir it around until it is dissolved.
In the meantime, I juiced a pile of lemons with my food processor, which I had out for juicing the lemons for the souvlaki.
I guess because of the fact you are using a sugar that is not white, the limonada comes out a different color than if you are making a more traditional American lemonade. It was almost a cross between lemonade and apple juice colorwise.
I decided to gussy up the glasses, since Leah was giving the General and I a hard time this evening. I rimmed them in sugar and added a lemon slice.
And actually, I was pretty glad I did! Despite the fact that the sugar water is pretty sweet, there is almost a bitterness about the drink. The sugar made it a bit more palatable for me. Michael didn’t much care either way.