Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.
Summer in a Glass
My grandfather was a serious lemonade lover, and fresh lemonade brings my childhood back like nothing else. He'd sing to my grandmother until she made a pitcher of it, and of course, I was also right under her elbow while she did it.
This is the secret family recipe for the perfect lemonade. Taking a few moments to make the simple syrup first is key—you'll get much better results than if you try to get the sugar to dissolve in cold liquid. This is the perfect balance between the sweet and the tart of the lemons.
Now about the lemons—of course, fresh lemons are best. They just are. But if you're making more than just one batch, it can take some serious elbow grease. I use a citrus squeezer, and even that gets old after about the third lemon. A juicer works better, and if you have an electric one, knock yourself out. But...
Good bottled lemon juice will do in a pinch. I know—foodies everywhere will kick me out of the club. But I'm not going to tell on you, especially if you mix it half and half with fresh juice. Bottled juice is good quality (not the best, but good), it's inexpensive, it's fast and it's easy. So don't beat yourself up over that.
Finally, this is best if you add cold water only at the end, then chill the whole batch in the fridge. But if you're in a hurry, mix about two cups of ice with four cups of water to bring the temp down more quickly.
That's it—now go whip up a batch and make everybody happy!
- 5-6 fresh lemons, juiced, enough to equal 1 1/2 cups
- 8 cups water, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- Lemon slices or fresh mint to garnish
- In a medium saucepan, combine two cups of water and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow the sugar water to come down to room temperature or just a little above.
- Stir in lemon juice.
- Add the remaining six cups of cold water and stir. If you need to hurry on the chilling part, add two cups of ice to four cups of water (six cups total liquid measure) and stir well to melt the ice.
- Chill and serve!
© 2018 Jan Charles
RedElf from Canada on June 07, 2018:
Perfect proportions! I have always loved fresh lemonade. It truly is, as you said, summer in a glass. And the tinkle of ice in the big glass pitcher is intoxicating. Now all I want to do is relax on the porch with a tall, frosty glass of yumminess...
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 07, 2018:
No wonder, you know Malaysia lemonade taste sourish because no sugar is used