Summers in Amman are lovely. The evenings almost always cool off to a comfortable temperature, and there are plenty of beautiful outdoor cafes and restaurants where you can sit and eat and talk with friends while the stars begin to glimmer above. Jordan’s mint lemonade – the most refreshing lemonade I’ve ever tasted – brings me back to those wonderful summer evenings when I lived there. It’s tart and flavorful, and is just fine any time of day.
1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water for simple syrup
1 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
2 cups cold water
2 cups loosely packed mint leaves for chopping and blending
1-2 lemons and mint sprigs for garnish
Directions: To make the simple syrup, boil down the sugar and water in a small pot until it thickens to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in a bowl, then refrigerate for at least an hour.
When syrup is chilled, squeeze lemon juice and pour into a pitcher with the cold water and ice. Chop or blend mint leaves (I use an immersion blender with a little bit of lemon juice to help get it going) and add to pitcher. Taste and add syrup to your liking (I prefer my lemonade to be tart, so use only half the syrup, but for a sweeter drink, add more), garnish with lemon wedges and/or mint sprigs. Serves 4.