It's the middle of August, and you know what that means? It's fair time! County, state, and street fairs are happening all over America right now. We admit to secret cravings for fair food: the fried dough glories of funnel cakes, and the once-a-year indulgence of a hot corn dog on a stick. But we don't feel like braving the crowds this year, so instead we're bringing you fair food for your own kitchen! This whole week we've got recipes for those greasy, indulgent, summer treats that you only eat at fair time. Any requests?
First up! The very first thing we buy at a fair: icy cold lemon shake ups.
Fair food without the crowds, the dust, and the carnies. That's pretty good, right? We think so! And hopefully these treats will be just a bit healthier when cooked in your own kitchen. But really — that's not the point. These are very rare treats, but when that once-a-year opportunity for indulgence in a funnel cake comes 'round — yeah baby!
These lemon shake ups are perhaps the least indulgent thing on our week's menu; they're a glorified lemonade with lots and lots of ice, shaken until all those icy bits can get sucked up through your straw and freeze your brain. But the fair food version involves a lot of sugar, (1/2 cup per portion, perhaps?) We've cut that down just a bit, but these are still sweet and juicy, with a syrup that infuses the whole drink with sweet lemonade flavor.
Fair-Style Lemon Shake Ups
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups ice cubes, plus extra for serving as necessary
1 cup ice water
Bring the water and sugar to boil in a small saucepan. Boil for five minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Juice 1 1/2 lemons, reserving the fourth lemon half. Stir the lemon juice into the sugar syrup; you will have about 1 cup. Chill the lemon syrup in the fridge.
Blend the ice in a blender or food processor until it is crushed. Put half the crushed ice in a cocktail shaker, along with half the chilled lemon syrup (about 1/2 cup), along with 1/2 cup ice water. Shake vigorously for a couple minutes, then dump the whole mixture — including the ice — into a tall glass. Repeat with the remaining ice, syrup, and ice water for the second shake up.
Cut the remaining lemon half into four slices and add two slices to each glass. Sip (slowly!) and enjoy!
Adapted from SusieJ's recipe for shake ups
(Images: Faith Durand)