Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade

How to make real lemonade (the most lemony lemonade you've maybe ever tasted!) with a simple technique that extracts extra flavor from the lemon peels.
PLUS: Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade is the first recipe in a new collection of easy-easy summer recipes, 'Summer Easy' I call it - there's even a theme song!

For the most lemony lemonade ever tasted, infuse the sugar and water with aromatic oils from the lemon rinds.
A special collection of easy summer recipes
published throughout the summer of 2009.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

When I was 12, the county 4-H clubs hired a bus to haul kids to the Minnesota State Fair 300 miles south.

Twas a trip of memorable firsts: I became a “woman” – if you know what I mean. In the darkness of a carnival ride, a boy named Joel held my hand. But most of all, I discovered the elixir of summer, real lemonade.

Good news, perfect lemonade is as close as our kitchens, no bus, no boy required.

ALANNA's TIPS The secret to the best lemonade is to extract the aromatic oils from the rinds. To use wine lingo, this makes the lemonade ‘full-bodied’ with a ‘long finish’. And extra lemony! When prepping the lemon peel, you want only the yellow part, not the white part which is called the pith. A knife works but is slow. A rasp Microplane works but consider straining the zest out after steeping. I use an inexpensive special tool for lemons that I really love. It’s called a ‘lemon stripper’ or a ‘channel knife’. The cookbook suggests freezing an extra batch in ice cube trays. Lemonade with lemonade ice cubes, anyone? Or gin and tonics with lemonade ice cubes? The ideas are endless!


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 3 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Peel (see TIPS) from 4 lemons
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Juice and pulp from 4 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • Extra lemon slices, for garnish

In a four-cup glass bowl, combine the sugar and lemon peel. Let rest for 30 minutes. Pour the boiling water over the sugar mixture and stir until sugar dissolves. Let steep for 30 minutes.

Pour the liquid into a pitcher, straining out the lemon peel. Stir in the lemon juice and chill.

Serve over ice. Savor every sip!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per 1/2 Cup: 134Cal; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 35g Carb; 0g Fiber; 34g Sugar; 0g Protein; Weight Watchers 2 points For slow lower-calorie sipping, mix a quarter cup of the lemonade with a cup of club soda.
Adapted from Seasons of Santa Fe, a birthday gift from the dear Gluten-Free Goddess herself, a cookbook which, I confess, at first I didn’t properly appreciate but now can’t get enough of! Thank you, Karina!

Introducing 'Summer Easy'
A Collection of Easy-Easy Summer Recipes

For days now, I've become obsessed with inspired by the idea of extra-simple recipes for summer. They're the easiest recipes ever, ones we may hardly think of as 'recipes,' really, you know, the ones where you tell your friends, "Just ...". So I'm going to spend the summer collecting these easy recipes for all of us to enjoy. I think it will be fun!

Readers, if you have a special recipe that's 'hardly' a recipe and is perfect for summer, will you share it? Just send me a quick recipes@kitchen-parade.com.

For more about the collection (and a few recipes that already qualify!) -- see Easy Summer Recipes.

More Cold Drinks for Summer

~ Mango Lassi ~
~ more Beverage & Drink recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Cucumber Lemonade ~
~ Elise's Tomato Gazpacho ~
~ Parade Day Gin & Tonics ~
~ more Drink & Smoothie recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes.
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© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade

Looks so refreshing. And I'm glad to hear you enjoy the cookbook- one of my favorites. :-)
Must be the season. We just made a pitcher of lemonade yesterday afternoon. I just make a simple syrup with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, then let that cool. Add 1 cup lemon juice (fresh!) and 4 cups cold water.
Every year my family goes to the Minnesota State Fair and every year we get the lemonade there - and it's always delicious! I'm not going to be at the fair this year, so instead I'm going to try out your recipe (which sounds great)!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna