Monday, August 16, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Rachael Ray's Honey-Vanilla Lemonade

The summer is slipping away, but there is still time for one last glass of lemonade. Cheers!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 24 lemons)
Lemon wheels or wedges, for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and 2 cups water and place over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in 1/2 lengthwise, then, using the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the saucepan, along with the pod. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Put the lemon juice into a gallon jug or pitcher. Pour the sugar syrup through a strainer into the pitcher and discard the pod. Add water to equal 1 gallon and stir well.

Serve over ice with lemon wheels or wedges.

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