Living in Nigeria, we are exposed to extreme weather conditions. Blazing heat. Tropical thunder storms. Its been blazing hot for the past few months and keeping hydrating is imperative to avoid sunstroke and general unpleasantness. Water is of course the best way to keep hydrated - the colder the better for me. However, we all need a break from water and crave something sweet to quench our thirst. Ice creams or fizzy sodas are not a regular part of my diet and I do not find them refreshing. Instead I find myself drinking water to cleanse my palate after I treat myself to any of them.
The only exception to my rule is lemonade. I love the freshness that comes from tangy lemons and by making my own versions at home, I get to control the level of sweetness. The flavor combinations are endless and if you are feeling naughty, you can 'harden' the lemonade by adding vodka to it. This version is a great way to use mangoes which are in season and by making a simple syrup and adding ginger to it, gives enough of a kick to cut down the sweetness from the sugar and the mangoes. Make a pitcher or 3 and keep refrigerated because you will not be able to get enough.
To make a pitcher of lemonade, you will need:
- 2 ripe mangoes - peeled and flesh cut away from the stone and diced into small pieces
- 1/4 inch of ginger - washed and cut into 2
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cups lemon juice
- In a large sauce pan, combine the mangoes, ginger, sugar and water and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and let cool
- Strain mixture into a pitcher or jug and add the lemon juice
- Stir and taste. Add more water if mixture is too sweet or add a dash of vodka if its an adults only drink
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving