GINGER CUCUMBER LEMONADE
Cool down this summer with a lemonade zinger just for us adults. Start with Chardonnay, then infuse ginger into simple syrup to add a twist to a childhood favorite. Sometimes, revisiting old favorites from an adult perspective is a very rewarding experience. Consider this adults-only lemonade as an example. Medium-bodied Woodbridge chardonnay gives it gravity, while the fresh cucumber and delicate hint of ginger bring a summery sophistication to your glass.
1 cup simple syrup (recipe above)
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, about 3 to 4 lemons
1/2 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay
2 cups water
2 cups ice cubes
1/2 seedless cucumber
Pour the ginger-infused syrup into a large pitcher. Add the lemon juice, chardonnay and water, and stir. Add ice to the pitcher. With a vegetable peeler, remove and discard a lengthwise strip of skin from one side of the half-cucumber. Shave 8 to 10 long, paper-thin ribbons of cucumber into the pitcher. Push them down into the ice and stir gently, so the cucumber unfolds to make an attractive visual garnish in the lemonade. Chill for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to meld, or up to an hour. Serve well-iced in tall glasses.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 to 10 thin slices fresh ginger
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Add 3 to 10 thin slices of fresh ginger, with 3 giving the finished syrup a mild ginger flavor and 10 yielding a more assertive result. Simmer the mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the vapors rising from the pot smell noticeably of ginger. Cool the syrup to room temperature, then strain out the ginger. Chill the syrup until you're ready to assemble the lemonade.