Lemons – they are so refreshing, and they make everything taste better. They enjoy a good hug and love to get squeezed. Perfect for picnics and family reunions, fresh Lemonade is a Southern Classic. Reserve some of the beverage for later – as they make terrific frozen ice cubes, popsicles and slushies! If you have a choice between store-bought and homemade, choose the latter – there is a big difference!
If you want excellent results in making your Lemonade, you need to use very HOT water when adding it to the sugar mixture. I don’t make my Lemonade by boiling sugar and water on the stovetop. I have found it easier and quicker to simply add very hot water to my serving pitcher, which contains my sugar. If using a glass pitcher, please be sure it is thick enough to withstand the heat of the water without cracking. If not, then put the hot water in a container that can withstand hot temperatures. I then stir the mixture until all the sugar is completely dissolved. If your water is not that hot, the sugar can’t dissolve properly and your Lemonade will appear cloudy. All the sugar will float to the bottom of your glass – and this is not the end result you want.
If you are not crazy about juicing lemons and consider it a messy and tedious endeavor, please don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe. The juicing aspect can be relatively easy, especially if you use the EcoJeannie Professional Jumbo Lemon Squeezer. It is high quality, and a commercial grade tool that you will absolutely love. Made of stainless steel, it is constructed very well and does a fine job in getting every bit of juice out of those little yellow orbs!
If I am making a big batch of fresh lemonade (like one gallon), then I prefer to make the job a little easier with an electronic juicer. Doing it the manual way can sometimes hurt my wrists, so these type of machines not only make my job easier – but also much quicker! Epica and Cuisinart both make two very good models, and juice much more than lemons.
I usually will make a big batch of Lemonade and save some of the mixture for making ice cubes. I then put these ice cubes in my serving pitcher and in the individual serving glasses. By doing so, this keeps the drink’s flavor intact – without being watered down. If I had used regular ice cubes made out of water, then the Lemonade flavor would be diminished as the ice cubes melted.
When life gives you lemons, then you definitely need to make some Southern Lemonade. The Lemonade Recipe below is for one gallon; however, you can adjust it accordingly to make smaller batches and/or for the amount of sweetness you prefer. Less sugar = less sweet, more tart Lemonade. Enjoy, and have a Happy Summer!
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 12 large lemons)
- 2 cups sugar
- Garnishes: your choice of lemon, lime and/or mint sprigs
- Mix sugar with 1 cup HOT water until all the sugar dissolves.
- Add lemon juice and mix in.
- Add about 13 cups of cold water to make one gallon of Lemonade.
- Stir together and chill thoroughly.
- Serve over ice and garnish as desired.
This Lemonade should always be made with fresh lemons.
I also recommend making some lemonade ice cubes. Use these in place of regular water ice cubes. By doing so, your lemonade mixture will remain fresh and not taste "watered-down" as the ice melts.
You could also give this recipe a makeover by substituting limes for lemons. Limes = Limeade.