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THE RECIPE BOX: Cool off with sparkling raspberry lemonade

Sparkling rasberry lemonade is refreshing summer drink.

Sparkling rasberry lemonade is refreshing summer drink.

Who doesn't love a cold glass of lemonade in the summer? Well, how about changing it up a bit and trying a cold glass of sparkling raspberry lemonade instead?

Sparkling water, one of the ingredients in this summer drink, has not always been on my top five of must-have drinks. As a matter of fact, I used to say it tasted like flat Sprite. I no longer say that, especially after I tried it ice cold and with a hint of lime in it. Yummy.

While looking for a summer drink recipe to share with readers, I started thumbing through my cookbooks, my recipe box and the Internet.

I knew I wanted to use sparkling water as one of my base ingredients. My original thought was to see how a sparkling lemonade would taste, but then I remembered seeing some raspberries at the grocery store that looked delicious.

After I got the gist of how to make such a summer drink, I began squeezing fresh lemons and breaking out the blender.

This recipe is a little on the tart side. So if you like a sweeter drink, you might need to adjust the amount of sugar or lessen the amount of lemons you use.

Sparkling raspberry lemonade

Start to finish: 10 minutes or less

1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (three medium lemons)

1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries, thawed

1/2 cup of hot water

1/2 cup of sugar

1 liter of sparkling water, cold

Roll the lemons on a cutting board to loosen the juice inside.

Cut the lemons in half.

Squeeze the lemons into a measuring cup to make cup of juice.

Remove the seeds.

Combine lemon juice, raspberries, sugar and water into a blender.

Blend for 30 seconds.

Pour sparkling water into a pitcher.

Add the raspberry/lemon juice mixture to the pitcher.

Stir thoroughly.

Serve chilled.

The recipe yields approximately four 6-ounce glasses.

Tip: Replace the sugar with Splenda. Visit www.splenda.com to determine the substitution amounts.