The Unexpected Kitchen Tool That Upgrades Your Lemonade

lemonade with lemon and mint
lemonade with lemon and mint - Chas53/Getty Images

Ask almost anybody what they're drinking while they're sitting on their porch in the heat of the summer, and chances are, "lemonade" is their answer. Made from a simple three-ingredient recipe, the classic citrusy beverage is beloved for its refreshing tang. Lemonade in one form or another has been around since antiquity, and since its Parisian debut in 1630, the crowd-pleaser has become a staple on many beverage menus. What if you could elevate the flavor of your homemade lemonade recipe with an unexpected kitchen tool, and create a beverage with maximum lemony essence and a brighter flavor? You can -- with your potato masher.

Among the alternative uses for a potato masher is the option to easily and effectively muddle lemons to draw out extra flavor from the pulp and the peel. Muddling lemons with a potato masher smashes the oils out of the peel, resulting in a more robust lemon juice base for your lemonade. But be forewarned -- this clever upgrade can produce an elevated lemonade so good, that you'll have to charge more at your next lemonade stand.

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Using A Potato Masher For Lemonade

potato masher
potato masher - Adam Abdul Ghafur/Getty Images

Upgrading your homemade lemonade begins with picking the perfect lemons to muddle. Although there are several different varieties of lemons, each with a unique taste, texture, and appearance, the lemons most commonly available in grocery stores are Lisbon and Eureka.  These lemons are large, with thick, bright yellow peel, and that signature sour tang lemons are known for. The also popular Meyer lemons are smaller, with a deeper yellow peel and a sweeter, more orange-like taste. Eureka and Meyer lemons can deliver a light, zesty beverage, but you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you use to balance the more sour Eureka or the noticeably sweeter Meyer lemon.

When you've chosen your perfect lemons, muddling is as easy as cutting the lemons into thin slices, placing them in a bowl with some sugar, and using your potato masher to thoroughly smush everything together. Muddling lemons with a potato masher draws out the oils in the zest and these oils are essential for deepening your lemonade's flavor. The key to releasing the flavors in the zest is to leave the peel on your lemons, which offers a stronger lemon flavor and aroma than the juice and pulp alone. Be sure to use your potato masher firmly, so that all of the juices and oils are released. Strain your muddled lemon slices to remove the pulp and seeds -- the oil-infused juice is what will bring your upgraded lemonade to exuberant life.

Roasting Your Lemons To Elevate Your Muddled Lemonade

slicing lemons on cutting board
slicing lemons on cutting board - Sladic/Getty Images

The good news is that there are many unexpected ways to upgrade your lemonade and make it your go-to beverage all year long. To give your lemonade a warmer, sweeter lemony flavor, roast your lemonade lemons before muddling them with sugar. Roasting halved lemons in a hot oven until they begin to caramelize a bit and the edges begin to brown will help you achieve a richer, deeply delicious citrus flavor that will take your lemonade to the next level. But you'll want to keep a close eye on those lemons while they're in your oven, as they can burn quickly while roasting, and you want them roasted evenly.

In addition to helping you make a remarkably good lemonade, your potato masher can come in handy for a variety of other uses. Smash avocados with your potato masher to make guacamole; use your potato masher as a pastry blender to easily incorporate butter into dough for biscuits or a basic pie crust -- you can even use your potato masher to make a delicious smash burger. Regardless of what you make with your potato masher, you're going to need to wash it down with a refreshing beverage -- so start with using that masher to muddle some lemons.

Read the original article on Daily Meal