I’m not a very outdoorsy person but one of my happy places is sitting outside in the shade on a breezy day with a cool drink in hand and a massive bbq spread on the table. Never mind that the bugs attack me even though the citronella candle is a foot away or that I feel my face swelling up from the pollen. I feel instantaneously relaxed in this setting.
Of course when you think of outdoor lunches, you think refreshing drink and the first thought is lemonade. Despite the June gloom hovering over Los Angeles the past week, summer is just a couple of weeks away and it’s time to get squeezing.
To make it more interesting I decided to combine lemon, lime and a lesser-known citrus called “calamansi“. This sour and fragrant citrus with a hint of orange flavor is the Filipino’s lemon and for many like myself, we grew up drinking calamansi juice instead of lemonade. So why not bring these two worlds together and add in lime to the mix? I did and it is dee-licious! It’s tart like old-fashioned lemonade or limeade but with added sweetness from the calamansi.
You can find calamansi at your local Filipino market or possibly at Asian stores. They are either green or orange but the color doesn’t matter too much. It’s about the size of a cherry tomato and it looks like this:
If you can’t find it at the store, befriend a Filipino and they will most likely give you a source. Mine was my parents’ backyard. As a last resort you can always make lemon limeade.
I call this combination Mint Citrusade. Like the name? I was thinking calimemonade, or lemocalimeade or limecalemonade but just looking at it hurts my eyes so I can’t imagine trying to say it loud. I highly recommend including the mint because it makes the drink extra refreshing. Mint is aromatherapy after all. So sit outside, sip your drink and relax!
1 cup sugar
4 cups water
1/3 fresh lemon juice
1/3 fresh lime juice
1/3 fresh calamansi juice
1/4 cup mint leaves
1. To make simple syrup, combine sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
2. Squeeze lemons, limes, and calamansi to make 1/3 cup of juice each into a measuring cup or bowl.
3. Strain juice through a sieve to remove seeds and pour into a pitcher.
4. Add remaining 3 cups of water and cooled simply syrup into pitcher.
5. Drop in mint leaves and chill for at least an hour.