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Monday, June 29, 2015

Chew on This | Roasted Strawberry Mint Lemonade

Last summer we took a long weekend trip to Michigan. We stopped in Ann Arbor for one night and made our way walking around the UofM campus, shopping at boutiques (and Zingerman's), and of course, eating. 

We stopped at Mani Osteria for dinner and had a really spectacular meal. We came away from it wishing we lived closer, or had this restaurant closer to us. While there, both kids raved about the strawberry mint lemonade so much that I had to try. Wow! Holy wow! The. Best. Lemonade. Ever. Ever. Ever.

So here is my attempt to recreate the most amazing lemonade ever. Yes, I'm quite sure they don't roast their strawberries. That trick was my genius idea! And yes, I know they strain out the strawberry seeds. The Sprite insisted I do that as well, before she would try it. But dang, this stuff is gooooooood! 

Is it a labor of love? Yes, but you can shortcut the lemonade-making portion by using your favorite already-made lemonade product. The rest - well, all I can say is, it is TOTALLY worth it. Enjoy!


Here's our recipe:

Roasted Strawberry Mint Lemonade

1 C granulated sugar
1 C water
1 1/2 C fresh lemon juice
7 C water

Roasted Strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced in half
1 T oil (I used olive oil, you could use a less flavorful oil like canola)
pinch of salt

Mint Simple Syrup:
1/2 C granulate sugar
1/2 C water
1/2 C fresh mint leaves, loosely packed

For the Lemonade, first make your simple syrup. In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine your sugar and 1 cup of water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Take pan off the heat and allow to cool. Once the syrup is cooled, pour into a large pitcher, add in your fresh lemon juice and remaining water. Stir and chill.

For the Roasted Strawberries, preheat your oven to 350℉ and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place your prepared strawberries onto the pan and toss with your 1 T of oil and pinch of salt. Place pan into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until strawberries are soft and just beginning to release some juice. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before pureeing them in a food processor or blender. Set aside.

For the Mint Simple Syrup, put your sugar and water into a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves (this will be very quick with such a small amount of water and sugar). Once sugar is dissolved, remove pan from the heat and add in your fresh mint leaves. Stir to help release mint flavor. Allow the leaves to steep in the syrup for 15 minutes. Strain leaves from the syrup and pour syrup into a lidded glass container. 

Now that all of your Roasted Strawberry Mint Lemonade components are ready, time to make a fabulous drink.

Take your prepared chilled lemonade and add to it:
 3/4 C pureed roasted strawberries
1/4 C mint simple syrup

Stir to combine and enjoy!! 

You'll likely have some left over strawberrie puree and mint simple syrup. By all means, place the leftovers into the refrigerator to use with a week or two. Also, if you're like my sweet daughter, you'll want to strain the strawberry seeds out of your lemonade by pouring it through a fine mesh seive.  Yummy either way!

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