There once was a girl named Clémentine de Croy, who married Belgian Count Adhemar d'Oultremont La Berlière in 1842... No, the I Love Belgium team is not going to tell you a Belgian fairy tale. It’s just an extraordinary and slightly sad story about a young, beautiful, and charming lady who lived happily with her two sons and dog, Lapnock, at the castle of La Berlière in the middle of the woods near Houtaing, a small village in southern Belgium.
Countess Clémentine often hosted parties and afternoon teas in the sumptuous quarters of the castle, or on the large terrace overlooking the peaceful ponds decorated with swans and water lilies in bloom. As refreshment for her guests, she invented and brewed deliciously scented natural beverages served in beautiful crystal decanters. Unfortunately, Clémentine died unexpectedly of a sudden illness at age 36. Her goodness marked the hearts of many people, and so her husband built a sumptuous Gothic mausoleum to her memory in the village. But now this landmark is not the only thing she will be remembered by.
I Love Belgium discovered that Yves d’Oultremont, a great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of Clémentine recently began celebrating her memory by re-creating one of her favorite lemonade recipes. To honor the Countess, he called the lemonade Climonade. The wonderful lemonade is made by a limonadier (lemonade maker) in the south of Belgium and is sold in classic soda bottles with a porcelain cap. We say "wonderful" because we tried the Climonade and we were immediately sold. It’s refreshing, thirst-quenching, and not too "sticky" like other lemonades. The ingredients are all pure and natural: citrus juice, which gives it a freshness with a touch of acidity, combined with the fragrant sweetness of organic Belgian sugar beet, and finally an extract of a very tasty Mediterranean fruit (of course the recipe kept secret).
A sip of a Climonade is like taking a bite into Proust’s madeleine: it takes you away to a hot summer day, sitting on the terrace of the La Berlière Castle. Don’t we all dream of being a Countess one day?