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Apr 11, 2008 07:52 AM

Make your own lemonade

I was in a store the other day, and I saw the lemons. I thought "hey, lemonade is awesome" so I bought 10 up, and then went home to make it. It's so damn easy and so damn good. You just squeeze them into something (don't worry about pips) then add roughly 4 parts water to every 1 part lemonade in a big batch. I think 10 lemons was enough for nearly 2 litres of lemonade, but some weren't ripe and yielded less juice. Then you just add sugar to taste (in fact at a certain point the lemonade becomes saturated, and the excess sugar collects at the bottom).

That's what I did anyway, and it was DELICIOUS, with only 3 ingredients, all of them natural and good for you (well - maybe not so much the sugar).

I should add that my lemonade was quite strong so you could get away with adding more water. And if you drink loads at that strength it does make your spit go funny.

So yeah try making lemonade like you did when you were a kid and benefit! If you have kids, get them to help, oh and make sure there's some ice on hand!

Anybody got any lemonade related advice/talk?

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  1. I actually made some lemonade yesterday -- except used Stevia instead of sugar. I've also used agave nectar. So much better than those frozen concoctions or those ready-made Minute Maid ones. And a lot cheaper than sometimes paying $4 for one at a restaurant.

    "Then you just add sugar to taste (in fact at a certain point the lemonade becomes saturated, and the excess sugar collects at the bottom)."

    Wow! You must like your lemonade very sweet.

    1. One of the best things about summer is drinking loads of fresh homemade lemonade. Must be the combination of the sunshine and lemons that always makes me feel good.

      Anyway, lemonade offers so many options for variety. Add some maraschino cherry juice or grenadine, fruit puree (strawberry and raspberry are especially good), chunks of frozen fruit (instead of ice cubes) that thaw and get deliciously mushy by the time you reach the bottom of the glass, crushed mint, a splash of fresh squeezed orange or lime juice...the list goes on and on.

      I also reccomend using simple syrup instead of granulated sugar. It dissolves easier and doesn't get gritty.

      I wonder how a lemonade float would taste. The combination of lemonade, a little seltzer and vanilla ice cream seems like a good combination. I might have to give it a try!

      7 Replies
      1. re: punkin712

        You both have some great ideas. I'll try them out on the weekend. With regard to the granulated sugar, I think you're right. But it didn't tast very sweet. What I did was mix myself a glass first to test the levels. I imagine the amount of sugar was down to the 20% lemonjuice? It didn't taste sweet, it tasted very tart. I think I used about 4 tablespoons of sugar.

        *imagines delicious mint and frozen fruit*

        1. re: punkin712

          I like to make a batch of simple syrup and have in the refrigerator for things like this. It's so much smoother than granulated sugar. I also love using limes and lemons (because I can't get meyer lemons easily but nothing beats meyer lemon juice, well, except maybe a meyer lemon drop).

          1. re: chowser

            I love fresh, ice cold, homemade lemonade right after I finish mowing the lawn on a hot summer day...

            1. re: Sean

              As a variation, blend it up with ginger (will become frothy), or mint. Also use sparkling water instead of still. YUMMY.

              1. re: cleopatra999

                On that note, have you tried the Dry Meyer Lemon Soda by GUS? It is made with real juice and cane sugar, absolutely delicious...


                1. re: Sean

                  I just had my first bottle of that - I almost never buy or drink any soft drinks, but the Meyer Lemon just looked too tempting, and I liked the fact that it used cane sugar - wonderful, I agree.

            2. re: chowser

              Another vote here for simple syrup. It's terrific to have around whenever you need sugar in a cold drink. I make mine from 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, keep it in a glass bottle. No need to refrigerate!

          2. With two lemon trees in our yard we make a lot of lemonade in season.

            I also use a simple syrup. Sometimes I'll infuse that with something. we particularly like mint or lavender.

            Blackberry puree is another great and favorite addition when we can find good berries.

            I like my lemonade tart so it's usually lots of lemon juice, some simple syrup, and cold water to taste. yes, exactly those precise measurements!

            Sometimes we use pellegrino in place of plain cold water. Homemade GUS soda! (I'm too cheap to buy GUS at the store!)

            2 Replies
            1. re: ziggylu

              i use sparkling water when i make my lemonade too...although, i usually just use the big, cheap, 2 liter bottles of club soda and save the pellegrino to drink on its own...:o)

              1. re: ziggylu

                How would you infuse simple syrup with Lavender?

              2. Lemons are at their peak right around now, and since i have friends and family with Meyer lemon trees, I have a good supply. So I freeze some of it. I make a simple syrup with a high relation of sugar to water, then juice the lemons and mix them with the sugar syrup. At this point, I essentially have lemonade concentrate. I put it in plastic containers (food grade plastic is absolutely essential!) and freeze it. Then when I want lemonade in the summer, I thaw it and dilute it to taste.

                The main trick is to make sure you have the right ratio of lemon juice to sugar, since you're combining them before diluting and thus can't judge very well by taste. This takes some experimenting. Say you have enough lemon juice to make a quart of lemonade. Add a sugar syrup that contains as much sugar as you'd use for a quart. It'll be horribly sweet and extremely lemon-y, but remember, you're going to dilute it. When in doubt, go light on the sugar, since you can always add that when you're ready to drink it.

                The frozen lemonade will last about 6 months, but after that it starts to pick up the flavors of the plastic, even food-grade plastic. Must be the acidity. If you hate the idea of using plastic, you could probably find appropriately-size glass jars.

                1. This is the recipe we use for lemonade:
                  3 lemons cut into 8 pieces
                  1 1/2 cups sugar
                  1 cup water
                  6-7 cups water

                  in a blender, blend lemons, sugar and 1 cup water. Blend until smallish pieces, not too small or the lemonade will be bitter. Strain the mixture into a pitcher. Add the remaining 6-7 cups water. Chill and serve.

                  This is so simple you can whip it up in minutes.