3 Ingredient Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

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3 Ingredient Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate - Threaded TogetherI have finally stopped drinking my strawberry lemonade long enough to take a minute to write a post about it.  No joke, this stuff is like crack.  If I prepare a batch of lemonade in a pitcher, I can guarantee you it will be gone within 24 hours.  My two year old and I are the culprits.  You won’t hear a breath while either of us are chugging the juice.  May as well stick a strawberry lemonade IV in our arms.

The recipe I used is from the Ball Canning website. 

Feel free to go there and simply follow their directions

Why I love this recipe:

It is a tasteful, sweet, summer drink to enjoy immediately after you make it or freeze or can it to drink all summer long. Make it adult friendly by adding a shot of vodka, or make it kid friendly and freeze the lemonade in molds for a refreshing popsicle.

Materials you will need:

  • If you make a batch to drink immediately:
    • Large, non-reactive (stainless steel) saucepan
    • Wooden Spoon
    • Blender or food processor
    • Juicer (if using fresh lemons)
    • liquid-friendly thermometer
    • Knife
    • Ladle
    • Pitcher
    • damp rag towels for the mess
  • If you are freezing the concentrate:
    • Large, non-reactive (stainless steel) saucepan
    • Wooden Spoon
    • Blender or food processor
    • Juicer (if using fresh lemons)
    • liquid-friendly thermometer
    • Knife
    • Ladle
    • Pint-size canning jars, lids and bands
    • damp rag towels for the mess
  • If you are canning the concentrate:
    • Large, non-reactive (stainless steel) saucepan
    • Wooden Spoon
    • Blender or food processor
    • Juicer (if using fresh lemons)
    • liquid-friendly thermometer
    • Knife
    • Ladle
    • Pint-size canning jars, unused lids, and bands
    • Water bath canner with canning rack (I recommend this set from Ball if you are just getting started)
    • Jar lifter
    • damp rag towels for the mess

My Recommendations for this Recipe:

Once you have made the concentrate, Ball calls for a 1:1 ratio to reconstitute your concentrate.  What does this mean?  To make the actual lemonade, you add equal amounts of the concentrate you made and water to a glass or pitcher.  This was WAY too strong for me, and let me tell you: I have one heck of a sweet tooth.  Not to mention, I did not do all that work canning to have my entire stack of jars disappear in one day.  I have tried the concentrate mixed with several different amounts of water and the one I settled on is a 1:3 ratio.  I take a jar of the concentrate I made and I add THREE jars of water to the pitcher.  That means one pint size jar makes an entire full pitcher in my house.  It is the perfect dilution for me.  Any more water and it tastes like that badly mixed power drink you had at your last company picnic.  Less water still tastes fine, but was not necessary for my mix.  The major thing that will change this is your strawberries.  Mine were fresh picked…like, THAT day…plump, juicy, delightfully sweet berries.  If your berries aren’t so fresh and sweet you may want to add less water for a stronger taste.  Not to mention, I used freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Just remember, it is totally up to you and your taste desires.

3 Ingredient Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate - Threaded Together3 Ingredient Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate - Threaded Together 

ALSO.  Feel free to alter the batch size to suit your needs.  This is not a canning project that requires pectin or pickling juice or anything so if you want half a batch, use half of all the ingredients.  Double or triple batch?  Double or triple the ingredients!  A full size batch was gone in a couple of days here.  I followed the cooking directions, reconstituted one pitcher’s worth immediately and froze the rest of it in pint size jars. 

After my first full batch disappeared so quickly I made two more half batches and canned them.  I thought the first one would be enough and I canned it in half pint jars, which I don’t recommend.  I took one look at my five little jars and knew immediately I needed to do more while I had the canning mess out.  One half pint jar only makes half a pitcher of lemonade (using my 1:3 ratio.  It only makes one glass if you use their ratio!).  The second half batch, I canned in full pint jars, as the Ball directions state, and that really is perfect.  One jar of lemonade and three jars of water fills my pitcher perfectly…so I don’t even have to measure any more.  I just toss the concentrate in and fill the pitcher the rest of the way with water.

3 Ingredient Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate
Yields 6
A perfect treat to sip on a hot summer's day!
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Ingredients
  1. 6 cups strawberries, hulled
  2. 6 cups white sugar
  3. 20 lemons, freshly squeezed (or four cups of lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. For canning directions, visit http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=245
To drink immediately or freeze
  1. Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor.
  2. Mix together with sugar and lemon juice in a large, non-reactive (stainless steel) saucepan.
  3. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 190 degrees. Do not allow the mixture to boil!
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. Skim foam off the top of the mixture.
To drink immediately
  1. Pour 2 cups of concentrate into a pitcher and mix with 6 cups of water (or change ratio to suit your taste)
  2. Refrigerate and serve.
To freeze
  1. Do not mix with water.
  2. Pour concentrate into pint sized, freezer safe jars or containers, leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top (concentrate will not really expand much in the freezer).
  3. Place in freezer.
  4. To reconstitute, thaw and mix one part concentrate with three parts water, or desired ratio.
If you are making this to ONLY drink immediately, I think I recommend cutting this recipe down by at least 75%. i.e. use
  1. 1.5 cups strawberries, hulled
  2. 1.5 cups white sugar
  3. 4 lemons, freshly squeezed
Adapted from Ball Canning
Adapted from Ball Canning
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