Lemonade from concentrate, from a bottle, or made with a mix is nothing like real lemonade made with fresh lemons. Those with a free source of lemons should be making everything from lemon desserts and real lemonade regularly, but not everyone appreciates their limitless uses.
Whether the lemons come from a tree in the yard or the store, try the following recipe for real lemonade. This old-fashioned favorite made by my great aunt was a hit at family get-togethers, and although I do not have a free source of lemons, I have been making it for decades. I have also developed a number of unique and tasty new ways to serve this sweet and sour summertime beverage.
Before Getting Started
Real lemons should be thoroughly washed before squeezing, and the seeds must be removed before making lemonade. A potato masher can be very helpful if a lemon or lime squeezer or a citrus juicer is not available. Try to get every last drop of juice out of the lemons when making lemonade, and use the peels instead of throwing them away. This article provides many uses for lemon peels and extra lemons.
To make a gallon of real lemonade you will need the juice of four large lemons, three cups of granulated sugar (add more or less according to preference), one quart of hot water, and three quarts of ice-cold water. You will also need a gallon pitcher and a long-handled spoon for stirring.
Begin making the real lemonade by dissolving the sugar in the hot water in a gallon-size pitcher. Stir it until the sugar completely dissolves.
Next, add the freshly squeezed lemon, and continue stirring the mixture. Look once again for seeds. Some might float to the top, and they can be difficult to see.
Lastly, add the cold water. Thoroughly combine the ingredients to complete this real lemonade. If space is available in the pitcher, add cubes of ice to make it extremely cold. Serve the lemonade in frosted glasses decorated with fresh lemon slices.
Creative Serving Suggestions
Freeze maraschino cherries to add to the fresh lemonade. They will add color and flavor while making the drinks colder on the hottest summer days.
Consider making unique and colorful ice cubes by tinting real lemonade with natural ingredients such as maraschino cherry juice, real grape juice, grenadine, or other real fruit juices. They will not greatly alter the flavor, but they will create colorful cubes to enhance glasses of real lemonade.
Wash and slice a variety of citrus fruits, and toss them into a clear pitcher of real lemonade. Bright green limes, sunny yellow lemons, vibrant oranges, and even grapefruit slices will make a pitcher of real lemonade look even more appealing