Ali Larter’s Secret Ingredient For a Fresh Spring
Spring has arrived in Los Angeles; I can smell it in the air—literally! The return of sundress-and-sandals months is always heralded at my house by the sweet scent of citrus flowers wafting in from our beautiful tree, filling my head with visions of warm-weather entertaining. Lemons play a big part in my cooking year-round, but they can also brighten up your decorating scheme, refresh in a simple yet irresistible cocktail, or even bring some lift to your wardrobe! How very sweet.
Lemonade is so quick and inexpensive to make yourself, that there’s no reason to purchase it bottled! I love this version that uses maple syrup instead of sugar. You may want to warm the syrup on the stove first, but be careful not to burn it or you’ll alter the taste. If maple isn’t your favorite flavor, you can replace it with simple syrup in the same amount.
-7 cups water
-3/4 cup maple syrup
Juice the lemons into a large bowl or carafe and then add water. Stir in the maple syrup and sip. Relaxation in a glass.
This tip is self-explanatory, because lemons are beautiful. You can use them everywhere! I love to put them in bowls, almost to the point of overflowing, and then accent them with leaves. If you can’t acquire them fresh off the tree with their own leaves, you can mix in other sorts as pleases your eye. I used a wooden bowl this go around, but silver is also gorgeous against the pop of rich yellow and green. You can also stack them in a vase or pop them in a flowerpot. Let their brightness inspire your creativity!
Lemons can be used for more than just food and drink. They serve as a great cleaning agent, too! It’s easy and inexpensive to make a delicious smelling all-purpose cleaner for your home with items you already have in your kitchen.
-1-2 tsp lemon juice
-1 part white vinegar
-3 parts water
Combine lemon rinds, lemon juice, vinegar, and water into an airtight canning jar. Wait a two to three days for the lemon to infuse into the vinegar.
This is genuinely one of the easiest, most delicious cocktails I’ve tasted. While also being beautiful in presentation, I love how few ingredients are required. The only part of this that requires forethought is making of the mint cubes. Chic, springtime cocktails in a snap!
-Ice cube tray
Directions for mint ice cubes
Fill your ice cube tray halfway up with water, and place one leaf of mint in each cube. Let the first half freeze all the way, then fill the tray to the top, and place back in the freezer. This way, your mint will rest in the center of the cube, rather than floating to the top.
To make the cocktail, add your spirit of choice to the lemonade, and then drop in one cube per glass. I love amplifying the flavor of the lemons by using a citrus vodka.
Recently, with friends on their way over for an impromptu dinner and the rarity of cut flowers anywhere in my home, I improvised by snipping a few of these sweet, short-lived buds from my tree and placing them in tiny crystal glasses to bring warmth to the table. Their fragility and irreverent grace is playful and vibrant, and so too was our gathering.
For more seasonal recipes and entertaining tips, head to AliLarter.com.
What are your favorite lemon recipes? Share below!