This lemon ice shandy came about by chance and has become our new obsession. It really was one of those hot summery days and we were looking for something refreshing and sweet. I can’t recall (maybe too much taste testing) how the lemon sorbet ended up in my beer glass but I haven’t had one without the other since!
Clearly the universe was also in agreement of the terrific-ness of this new creation because one morning I woke up to find a lemon on the ground under the lemon tree. I immediately rushed out, bowl in hand, to check the other lemons that were hanging on and they also were near falling. I collected as many as I could to beat the squirrels. The lemons were so golden, almost orange in color. The smell was fresh and sweet and made me want to hang my head in the bowl.
So at that point it was too early to enjoy our afternoon lemon ice shandy but it certainly wasn’t too early to start preparing! Instead of the store bought sorbet, I wanted to use these lemons for the popular shandies. One thing led to another and not only was I making lemon ice but I was also making lemon syrup, googling recipes for candied lemon rinds and alcohol infused liquor. Oh man, I had to stop myself just to get the pics and recipes for a post.
The lemon ice recipe I came up with is very simple with only 4 ingredients: lemon juice, lemon peel, water and maple syrup. I decided to use the maple syrup for flavor but also to save time. Another preference I have is to grate the lemon peel rather than zest it. I like the bigger chunks of peel especially from these lemons.
Ok, so after I mixed all 4 ingredients for the lemon ice, here I was left with a pile of lemon peels and juiced halves. I could not throw them away. Thanks to SeriousEats I found this recipe to make lemon syrup, again without cooking. It was so interesting to find out that the acidity in the peel will dissolve the sugar if you let them sit together for several hours (stirring occasionally).
Yes, I really did put those lemon peels and rinds in my french coffee press. I just had to get every drop of liquid gold those lemons had to offer. I am not sorry I did it either. Although this process didn’t yield much syrup (about 1/2 cup), it’s more than I would have got if I tossed the lemons in the trash!
Back to the shandy. My lemon ice was ready. I scooped it in a nice glass, poured in the beer (gluten free of course!) and it did not disappoint. Just enough of the lemon rind came through, the ice melted at the right speed and the citrus fragrance was not lost.
This, my friends, is worth it. A perfect end to any kind of day. An easy treat for those 4th of July celebrations coming up. The best part is, if you have no desire to make the lemon ice, store bought lemon sorbet is also a tasty option. Beer+lemon sorbet=delicious.
*For my gluten free friends out there, I found a very tasty supermarket beer called Redbridge. It is a smooth flavored beer that even my gluten loving husband enjoys. But hey, how can he resist when there’s a scoop of lemon sorbet floating inside!