The history of citrus fruit in North Africa is very hazy, but it is thought that Egyptians were the First to create lemonade in around AD 1,000. This classic squash is ideal for a hot summers day. What makes it memorable is the sharp tang of the lemon skin. Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste. Fresh mint adds an extra kick.
750 g (1 lb 10 oz) unwaxed lemons, quartered
3 litres (5¼ pints) water
300 g (10½ oz) caster sugar, or to taste
ice cubes, to serve
fresh mint sprigs, to decorate
Place the lemons in a large saucepan with 1 litre (1¾ pints) of the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Take the saucepan off the heat and pulverize the lemons with a blending stick or in a liquidizer until the mixture foams and the lemons are completely broken up into a pulp.
Stir in the remaining 2 litres (3½ pints) of water and pour the mixture through a sieve, pushing down on the pulp with the back of a spoon to extract the maximum flavour.
Pour the sugar into the juice and stir well, then allow to cool and chill in the refrigerator.
Serve the squash in a large glass jug with ice cubes. Decorate with fresh mint sprigs.
country : Tunisia (Carthage)
course : beverage
source : Medina Kitchen : Home Cooking from North Africa / Fiona Dunlop