Passion Fruit Lemonade

This refreshing Passion Fruit Lemonade was a hit at my clothing swap brunch party this past Saturday. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is combined with tart and tropical passion fruit pulp (purchased frozen from the freezer section of my local grocery store) for a cool beverage that tastes like vacation in a glass.

Mix up a big batch and serve in a punch bowl or pitchers at your next gathering (I poured it into my brand new beverage dispenser). The recipe is non-alcoholic, but if you'd like to kick it up a bit, just keep a bottle of vodka nearby and let your guests add a shot of it to their glass if they'd prefer something a little stronger.

If you can't find frozen passion fruit pulp at the store and don't want to buy it online, you can also halve the simple syrup and add a pint of passion fruit sorbet instead (Ciao Bella makes a good one); it'll melt into the drink and serve to sweeten and impart the passion fruit flavor.

Looking for more something a little boozier? Try this Sparkling Gin Punch, which I learned this past weekend is just as good at the beginning of spring as it is in the dead of winter (And just as good in 2010 as it was in the 1960s!)!

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Passion Fruit Lemonade
Serves 10-12, can be halved.
The sweetness of this drink depends a lot on the sweetness of your lemons. Like with all recipes involving fresh fruit, note that these amounts are a guideline. Taste the final product and adjust with more sugar or water (or lemon juice) according to your preferences.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water (for simple syrup)
2.5 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups frozen pure (no sugar added) passion fruit pulp [usually available in the freezer section of your supermarket or Latin grocer; look near the frozen Goya brand products. It may be labeled "maracuya" or "parcha" (the Spanish names for the fruit)]
4 cups water (for diluting)
5 cups ice cubes

Combine the two cups of sugar and first two cups of water in a small saucepan over high heat until the water boils. Stir until all the sugar dissolves and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large punchbowl or pitcher, combine the simple syrup, 2.5 cups lemon juice, 2 cups frozen passion fruit pulp (still frozen and broken up into chunks), 4 cups water, and 4 cups ice cubes. Stir well to combine and leave in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour (up to 4). Note that it will be very strong at first; the ice will melt so that come time to serve it, the lemonade will be perfectly chilled and balanced.

Serve immediately. (I've stored leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days, just stirring a bit before serving.)

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