I was in Nashville, Tennessee a few weeks ago, home of country music and anything southern (you know-- sweet tea, beautiful acre lot yards, billboard signs that have the wait time of the ER?) and I was blown away. It was beautiful with the lush greenery and rolling hills, the rich blooms of hydrangeas paired with the sweet smells of magnolias, it's hard to imagine that just a few months ago this entire city was under water.
Thankfully, Nashville cleans up quite well -- with a strong community connection, the city was able to jump back on its feet in no time, truly impressive. I was actually there to photograph one of my good friend's wedding and truly regret not coming to this beautiful city sooner. She had a splendid rehearsal dinner thrown at her fiance's (now husband) parents' house, the settings were so perfect it looked like the entire party came out of a Martha Stewart magazine (divine!).
They had a bartender mixing delicious drinks and cocktails, I of course had to steer clear of the alcoholic drinks or else the pictures would've came out slightly skewed or maybe even a little...blurry? :) So the bartender offered me a glass of Mango Lemonade that not only quenched my thirst but instantaneously boosted my spirits.
The combination was incredible -- with the bright tartness of the lemons paired with the fragrant sweetness of the mangoes, it just kind of brought you into this tropical southern heaven. One that frankly I didn't want to leave from...so what other choice did I have but to recreate it at home? Results? Highly successful :)
If you prefer your lemonade to be more tart, feel free to increase the lemon juice to 2 cups. Also if the mango puree makes the lemonade a little thick just add additional water to thin it out. Other than that, stay cool and hydrated this summer -- make a batch and take it to the pool to share with friends or maybe even to a bbq for 4th of July! Just remember, sharing is caring and this drink will bring a smile to anyone's face (unless you're allergic to mangoes or lemons)...
Ingredients for Mango Lemonade: (makes 10 x 8oz servings)
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar (you may substitute half the sugar for honey)
- 8 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
- 3 mangoes, peeled and pitted
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled. Puree the mangoes using a blender or hand-held blender and strain through sieve to remove any fibers, set aside.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In a pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice, mango puree and remaining 7 cups water. Serve immediately chilled or on ice. (You can also freeze them in ice cube trays and make a mango lemonade slushie!)
p.s. In order to make this Mango Lemonade "Southern Style" simply enjoy a tall glass sitting on your rocking chair either in your front and back porch, watching the sunset and enjoying the light summer breeze, repeat until you've reach desired level of relaxation. :)