(American lemon beverage)
Lemonade and its basic theme of lemon juice, sugar and water is a popular drink around the world. Made with fresh lemons, it's a summertime favorite in the United States, where ramshackle stands selling glasses of the sweet-tart beverage are a favorite way for children to earn a little spending money.
The French call lemonade citronnade and claim to have been the first to make it in the Middle Ages. That may or may not be true. People in the Middle East have slaked their thirst with orange blossom-scented lemonade for centuries.
Indians and Pakistanis enjoy nimbu paani, or lemon water. The Vietnamese fight back the sultry heat with a tall glass of da chanh, or with chanh muoi, a salty lemonade made with preserved lemons. And the people of Papau New Guinea have their own version called muli wara.
Makes about 2 quarts
- Lemons -- 3 to 5
- Fresh, cold water -- 6 cups
- Sugar -- 3/4 cup
- Squeeze lemons to extract their juice, along with a little pulp for texture. Pick out any seeds and pour the juice into a 2-quart pitcher. Drop one or two of the squeezed halves into the pitcher and pound gently with a wooden spoon to release the lemon oils.
- Pour in the water and sugar and stir well to until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Adjust flavor with more lemon juice or sugar and chill well before serving.
- Single serving: Use 1/2 to 1 whole lemon, 1 1/2 cups of cold water and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Mix in a tall glass.
- Limeade: Substitute from 6 to 8 limes for the lemons.
- Pink Lemonade: Add 1 cup of cranberry juice.
- Limoonada (Middle East): Add 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water. Reduce the amount of sugar to between 1/3 and 1/2 cup. Lemonade in the Middle East is generally made less sweet.
- Crush a sprig of mint or some slices of fresh ginger with the lemon halves for a refreshing twist.
- Use honey or agave syrup instead of sugar.
- Use a mild iced tea instead of water for a great pick-me-up.
- If are not going to drink the lemonade within a couple of hours, remove the lemon halves after about 15 minutes. If you leave them in too long they will turn the drink bitter.