Seattle, make your own Lynchburg Lemonade

Seattle, make your own Lynchburg Lemonade

Every year, as soon as the sun comes out in August and we all can finally start drinking on our porches and rooftops comfortably, I launch my annual crusade to bring back the Lynchburg Lemonade, a fantastic cocktail best served in mammoth qualities and anchored by sweet, wonderful Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey.

I become a one-person PR campaign. An evangelist for this amazingly amazing, perfect-for-pitchers, ultra-refreshing and high-alcohol-by-volume beverage. Yet still, this elixir of intoxication languishes, left off of bar menus (save for a few -- holler, Pig and Whistle!) and left to be forgotten as some sort of Southern relic, like chivalry or not wearing white after labor day.

But I'm not giving up. Sure, you can drink cheap classy wines when (if) the sun comes out. Or you can make grandfathers south of the Mason-Dixon Line proud, by stirring up a pitcher (or jar, or bucket, or old stopped-up kitchen sink) full of delicious, refreshing Lynchburg Lemonade.

Here's the recipe:

1 part Jack
1 part Triple Sec
1 part sour mix
and 3-4 parts lemon-lime soda (like Sprite)

Mix it up in a pitcher, and pour it over ice. Do not put the ice in the pitcher. Put it in the glasses. We're civilized here.

This recipe will definitely get you where you need to go, but going above and beyond makes all the difference. Here are some tips for making the best damn Lynchburg ever:

Make your own sour mix
It sounds hard, but it will save you from so many hangovers. Also, it's not hard. That's because store-bought sour mix is full of all kinds of crap your body hates. And the secret? It's really just simple syrup with lemon juice. It's kind of like making boxed macaroni. Decide how much to make based on how much you're drinking. We'll use cups so it's easy on your brain:

- Bring one cup of water to a boil in a saucepan
- Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved
- Remove from heat

Now, all you have to do is add lemon. You can buy pre-squeezed lemon juice, or you can squeeze your own. You'll want about half as much lemon as you added water -- or more, if you like it really sour.

Buy the good Triple Sec
Cheap Triple tastes like sugary orangey death and will, again, make you feel godawful in the morning. Triple Sec is really just orange liquor, so spring for something middle-shelf. Cointreau and Grand Marnier will do just fine.

Serve with a either a cherry or lemon wedge
It looks prettier, especially when you're likely drinking it out of an old jam jar. And for the record, the proper vessel is a Collins glass.

Now go forth, people, and evangelize.