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This Tropical Lemonade is Our Official Summer Drink (Vodka Optional)

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Maybe for you, summer's not summer until you eat a tomato salad, or a lobster roll, or an old-school ice cream sandwich. Or maybe it's a bite of a Rhode Island clam cake or a sip a spritz that sets you squarely in July.

For our community member nykavi (a.k.a. Kavita), whose blog is called Home on my Range, that must-be-summer recipe is her family's sweet, tart, saffron-scented mango lemonade.

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Mango Lemonade
Mango Lemonade

While she lives in New York now, when Kavita was growing up in Mumbai, her grandmother and mother would make this lemonade every summer, gathering all of the kids around the table to squish the pulp out of the unpeeled, simmered mangoes.

Once you've cooked, cooled, and squeezed the mangoes, all you need to do is blend the flesh with water, lemon juice, sugar, and a pinch of salt.

You'll ideally use unripe, green mangoes, as they lend a sharp tartness to the drink, but a half-ripened mango will work, too (and you can add a bit more lemon juice to compensate). Add a pinch of saffron for fanfare (and a great depth of flavor) and, to make it taste even better, a splash of vodka. (That's a recommendation from the recipe writer herself.)

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Mango Lemonade

93135f37 a5ec 4249 b54a 9c681f43d567  image nykavi
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Serves 4
  • 2 green-skinned mangoes
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch saffron, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
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What's the taste that reminds you of summer? Tell us in the comments below!