Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making Lemonade Berry Lemonade

Lemonade berry bushes are everywhere in San Diego County. And I have always wondered if they really taste like Lemonade. The berries are available pretty much all summer and are bright red so they are hard to miss. After reading this Lemonade Berry article, I decided to go pick some berries and create a drink a couple ways.

The berries were picked in late July when the berries were very red and starting to become sticky. I also made sure to pick berries far from any roadway because the sticky film on the outside will attract all sorts of stuff.

I used 1/2 cup of berries per 1 cup of water or 2:1 Water to Berries. I tried to rinse the berries in a strainer, but it didn't work well. I ended up just removing as many stems and debris as possible. To fill the cups I used both cool water from the filter and then also added boiling water to the other cup. As you can see below the boiling water changed the color immediately. I then let them steep over a few days and the hot water cup ended up darker.

Now for the taste test. They both tasted the same and all I could taste was citric acid. It tasted like biting into a lemon. The lemonade berry was a bit more earthy and did lack a true lemon taste. So using these proportions it was undrinkable and could be diluted to 4:1 or I prefer mine to taste even more mild at 8:1. The best use for these berries are to throw a little bunch (typically 10 berries) into your water bottle, shake and enjoy. It will be the equivalent of putting a lemon in your water.

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