Classic Lemonade Recipe

 

Lemonade stands pop up all over the neighborhood during the summer.  They are for many children the first entrepreneurial effort in life.  Why?  Because, it’s not difficult to sell a glass of ice-cold lemonade on a warm hot summer day!

Historically speaking, the origins of lemonade are uncertain. However, it’s thirst quenching properties are not. The reason? The citric acid found in fresh squeezed lemon juice causes your salivary glands to go into overdrive. (it’s the citric acid that makes our mouths pucker and salivary glands go to work!) This, in turn, tells your brain that your mouth is less dry and you are therefore less thirsty.

Add too much sugar to your lemonade mixture and you will find that you are still thirsty after drinking what was supposed to be a nice, cold, refreshing, thirst-quenching glass of lemonade. Because of that realization, many fruit flavored versions of the basic lemonade have been concocted in the hopes of adding just the right amount of natural sweetness.

A quick search on Pinterest reveals not less than two dozen variations including: mint, blueberry, blueberry mint, ginger, lemongrass and ginger, strawberry, strawberry mint, blackberry, blackberry mint, watermelon, cherry and lavender. And, that doesn’t even touch limeade and all of its variations.

No matter what you choose as your “favorite” lemonade, it must – absolutely must – start with fresh squeezed lemons! There’s no way around it.

Ditch the powdered versions like Crystal Light, as well as the “frozen from concentrate” and “fresh squeezed” alternatives including Simply. The Simply juices are great in a pinch or if you need large quantities of juice (especially if you are mixing vodka, rum or tequila), but they just don’t quite have that “fresh squeezed” taste.

Let’s face it, summertime just isn’t summertime until you’ve enjoyed an ice-cold, fresh squeezed lemonade! You can even feel free to kick yours up another notch or two by making your own fruited, minted or zested ice cubes.

But, it’s not a easy as juice lemons, add sugar, add water, chill and serve. So how does one go about making a delicious “traditional” thirst quenching lemonade? You’ll need a good citrus juicer for starters. Our favorite can be purchased online. Don’t worry you’ll use it for a lot more than just lemonade in the summer. Imagine fresh grapefruit, orange or even pomegranate juice.

You’ll also need a good recipe to make sure you have just enough sweetness but not too much sugar. For this we offer a recipe that requires a simple syrup, because simple syrup makes all the difference in any beverage or cocktail recipe that requires sugar. Yes, it’s a bit more work, but well worth it! If you are tired of making simple syrup all the time for your lemonade, mojitos, etc. fear not! Make up a larger batch, just remember equal parts sugar and water – that’s all!

When you actually make your lemonade, make sure you throw in some of those ice cubes we mentioned above and rim your glass with one of our sugar·licious™ sugars (think blueberry or raspberry) or even one of our lemon·AID rim·licks™! (more about those in this future post)

Choose your favorite, and know that it’s a healthy alternative to any juice you can grab from the store. Serve it with or without a little alcohol “kick” and don’t forget the ice cubes and rimmers – Sonic’s got nothin’ on you this summer!  Who knows you may even think about setting up that old lemonade stand again with a new twist!

Classic Lemonade
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Recipe type: Drink
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Cook time: 
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Delicious fresh squeezed lemonade with a twist!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 2 cups lemon juice (fresh squeezed of course!)
  • 7 cups water

Instructions
  1. To make simple syrup, combine one cup water and one cup sugar in sauce pan, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, allow syrup to chill in refrigerator before mixing.
  2. While syrup is chilling, juice lemons.
  3. Mix water, lemon juice and syrup in large pitcher and chill in refrigerator before serving.
  4. Serve in glass rimmed with “Lemon-AID rim-licks™” of your choice!

Notes
Mashed fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and watermelon (yes, watermelon is a fruit) can be added to this classic mix as you see fit. Mint and lavender can be infused into the simple syrup. Alcohol can also be added. Bourbon, whiskey, rum or tequila – you choose!