I brace myself every time I go to the grocery store these days for the arrival of pumpkins. I know they are coming. This weekend, when it was still most definitely August, my local grocery store had Halloween candy. That’s spookily early in my opinion, although not unusual. Starbucks is set to launch its pumpkin spice lattes next Tuesday (September 8th), my Pinterest feed is already filling with gingerbread recipes, and an email in my inbox last week told me it was time to go apple-picking. Can we just stop for a minute?
I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures just as much as anyone else, but my calendar shows three more weeks of summer. Shouldn’t we be taking advantage of this?
Perhaps my reluctance to dash into autumn is that I haven’t quite done all I wanted to do this summer. I haven’t been to the pool nearly enough, I’m still craving tomato sandwiches, and my stack of summer reads remains high.
So please don’t expect sweaters, mums, or autumn centerpieces from me over the next couple of weeks. No, you’ll find me with a glass of this pink lemonade in hand (spiked with sparkling wine if I’m feeling in the mood) with flip-flops on my feet. Feel free to join me.
And when September 23rd arrives? Bring on the pumpkin.
For a special touch, add fresh raspberries and mint leaves to an ice cube tray and fill with water. Freeze and then use as needed for a beautiful and refreshing flourish to a glass of pink lemonade.
2 cups (about 2 lbs) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
8 cups cold water
4 teaspoons grenadine (optional)
For garnish: raspberries and/or mint leaves
Whisk the lemon juice and 1 cup of sugar in a large pitcher until the sugar dissolves. Add the water and the grenadine and whisk to combine. Taste and add more sugar, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For non-alcoholic sparkling pink lemonade, replace ½ to all of the cold water with sparkling water. Drink immediately!
For boozy sparkling pink lemonade, add 4 cups of cold water instead of 8 cups to the lemon-sugar mixture. To serve a group, add a bottle of sparkling to the pitcher and serve immediately. For individual servings, fill a champagne flute half full with sparkling wine and top with pink lemonade. Garnish with fresh raspberries and a mint sprig.