When you find yourself in a friendly and beautiful environment and you are kindly attended everything is and tastes so much better.
Having this in mind I turned to Nasos at the Old Watermill (Facebook link here) in Kyparissia in my quest for a great lemonade experience and consequently for getting from him a perfect lemonade recipe. Nasos and Anna who run the mill’s operations are also the creators of many elaborate original and traditional produce served and sold here (e-shop link here). The idea of visiting the watermill once again was already quite uplifting. Everytime I stop by this place I get inspired: be it by the overall verdant and lush area, the aromatic garden, the “time travel” experience and the stories and artifacts which accompany it, the delicious products of cultivated and wild local growth prepared by Nasos and most of all by the warmth and care with which all things; still or living are tended to in this welcoming and nurturing spot. Only a few years back, my dear friend Tzima (who I have just met then), the owner of the Old Watermill, was showing me the area with its ten ruined yet very picturesque watermills. With sparkles in her eyes she was telling me of her dream of renovating this very one and make it “alive” again…and here I stand in the middle of Tzima’s and her husband Nikos’s dream …at the restored “joyful” watermill, which today, after many decades of abandonment, has recuptured its first original purpose which is grinding wheat for flour using the restored original milling mechanism as well as its secondary functions added on from 1930 which were: serving as traditional coffee house and as pantopolion (a small shop). Today the Old Watermill has other purposes too, those which would be quite unimaginable at the time of its construction in 1850 such as hosting school visits, poetry readings, film screenings, concerts…and being photographed for a blog for the sake of a lemonade recipe! The reality often out-stages our imagination or can be much more poetic that expected if we only have our senses to notice it. At this time Nasos and Anna welcomed me with a shot of “tsipouro” and then we began making our “provisions”.First we visited the garden where we picked fresh lemons and mint leaves and then we returned back to the traditional style kitchen at the coffee shop to make together our traditional lemonade…
Traditional Greek lemonade recipe as served at the Old Watermill
500gr sugar and 200ml water ( bottled or spring) for syrup
500ml lemon juice
The most important thing in the preparation of lemonade is the right order of mixing the syrup with the lemon juice.The rule is that as soon as the lemon juice is squeezed it has to be mixed with the syrup which means that we always prepare the syrup first.
2. Squeeze the lemons.
3.Strain the juice through a cheese cloth.
4. Mix the juice with the syrup immediately.
Storing: if you want to store the lemonade for later, fill a glass bottle with the syrup/juice mix to the very brim so no air space is left, close tightly and store in a refrigerator up to 1 year!
1. Add spring or bottled water to a syrup/juice mix with 1:2 ratio
2. Pour it to a glass and add a lemon slice, mint leaf and ice cubes
If you want to be even more traditional serve the lemonade with something sweet like a loukoumi, a dried fig or pasteli (sesami bar)
There are many chaming spots at the watermill where you can enjoy your food and drink: the coffee shop, the patios (roofed and an open air) , the terrace, some cosy corners here and there but today I wanted to go back to the aromatic garden and sit under the lemon tree which fruit I was about to enjoy.