I certainly did not intend to be away from this site for so long. But then again, there are many things in my life that are not going as I intended these days. The day after my mother's funeral I flew to the Middle East. This may seem odd or callous or escapist, but for me it was just right. Something about wandering a souk and hearing the call to prayer is remarkably comforting to me. Plus, there was a certain boy out there that I was excited to see.
It being a short trip, I didn't have time to do much food investigation, but I did have time for plenty of mint lemonade. The mint lemonade (limon nana ليمون نعناع ) you find in the Middle East is not like what you find in the States, but rather a mixture of fresh lemon juice, mint leaves, and plenty of sugar whirled in a blender until a thick green concoction is poured into your glass. It's the most fantastically delicious drink I've ever had, and supremely refreshing in hot weather.
I'll admit I haven't quite mastered this mint lemonade at home- they must use some super high powered blender in the Middle East that blitzes the mint the liquid- my home version always ends up with little chunks of mint that get stuck in your straw or ledges in your teeth (see above photo). It still tastes great, mind you, but the solution I've found is to simply strain out the mint- sure it doesn't look quite authentic, but it still tastes the same.
You absolutely must make this with fresh lemon juice. Don't even talk to me if you don't.
juice of 8 lemons (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup chopped mint leaves, packed
6-8 cups water (to taste)
Place all ingredients in a blender, starting with 6 cups water. Blend well, taste and add more water as necessary.