Whether you’re melting in the heat, making summer shandies, or rushing around to prepare for a 4th of July barbecue during which you’ll need to keep hordes of sweaty children entertained and hydrated, nothing hits the spot like homemade lemonade. Make it once, and you’ll never walk down the Juice aisle of the grocery store again. You’ll come to hate the saccharine high-fructose-corn-syrup taste of commercial lemonades and you’ll crave the tangy-sweet refreshing perfection of your lemonade… the one you make all on your own.
Lemons? They got you covered, immune system-wise. One-fourth cup of lemon or lime juice carries almost 50% of your daily vitamin C needs. Lemons also contain a substance called limonoids, which have been shown to help prevent different types of cancer such as breast, mouth, skin, stomach, colon, and lung. POW!
Basic Homemade Lemonade
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup lemon juice
- cold water to dilute
1. Make a quick simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. (Using simple syrup ensures that the sugar will dissolve nicely in the drink; granulated sugar tends to simply sink to the bottom of the lemonade pitcher.)
2. Add the lemon juice and simple syrup to a pitcher
3. Add 3-4 cups cold water, stirring and tasting, until the lemonade is as sweet as you like.
10 Simple Variations:
Variation #1: Add a few sprigs of rosemary or mint to the pitcher, and/or garnish each glass with an herb leaf or two.
Variation #2: Use sweeter Meyer lemons, and reduce the amount of sugar to 3/4 cup.
Variation #3: Use limes–or half lemon juice, half lime juice.
Variation #4: Spike it. #vodka
Variation #5: Add a chunk of fresh ginger to the simple syrup while it’s heating. Allow to steep for a few minutes before adding to the lemonade.
Variation #6: Replace some or all of the diluting water with soda water for fizzy lemonade.
Variation #7: Replace the diluting water with ice, and blend it up for a lemonade slushy.
Variation #8: Impress your foodie friends with strawberry-jalapeno lemonade, or add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to each glass.
Variation #9: Use coconut cream to blend up some limonada de coco, a refreshing Colombian take on lemonade slushies.
Variation #10: Add two cucumber slices and a sprig of basil to each glass.