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Sparkling Mint Lemonade

The ultimate summer quencher, lemonade is refreshing as it is, but can be wonderfully lightened with sparkling water and fresh mint. The result is a nonalcoholic punch similar to a mojito.

To make simple syrup, in a measuring cup, stir together 1/4 cup superfine sugar in 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved. Let cool. This recipe makes 3 fl. oz. syrup and can be doubled or tripled as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish 
  • 8 fl. oz. simple syrup (see note above) 
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • 6 cups cold water 
  • Ice, as needed 
  • 2 cups sparkling water 
  • Lemon wheels for garnish 

Directions:

In a punch bowl, combine the mint leaves and simple syrup. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, gently muddle the mint leaves, being careful not to tear them. Stir in the lemon juice and cold water. Add ice and the sparkling water. Garnish with lemon wheels and mint leaves. Makes 12 drinks.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill, by Willie Cooper (Oxmoor House, 2009).