All Things Lemonade!

Ah, lemonade…the favorite thirst quenching beverage of summer. This quintessential summer drink has some interesting history behind it. Did you know that lemonade was first documented in Ancient Egypt in 500AD when lemon juice was mixed with sugar to make a beverage known as qatarmizat? It was considered to be a valuable trade item and was exported to several countries. The first lemonade soft drink on record made its first appearance on August 20th, 1630 in Paris, France, and consisted of a mixture of sparkling water and lemon juice sweetened with honey.

As the European world became familiar with lemons and lemonade thanks to the expansion of global trade, the drink became increasingly popular. Roving Parisian entrepreneurs sold glasses of lemonade to people on the streets of Paris in the 1670s from tanks strapped to their backs. Today, you don’t have to find a street vendor selling lemonade from a tank to enjoy the refreshing qualities of this globally popular drink. Here are some refreshingly different lemonade drink, marinade/glaze, and frozen confection recipes to please your palate this summer from our friends at Sunset Magazine.

Strawberry Lemonade

2 pints strawberries, hulled

3/4 cup honey

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 5 to 6 lemons)

How to Make It:

In a blender, purée strawberries and honey. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing mixture with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard contents of strainer.

Pour strawberry juice into a pitcher and stir in lemon juice and 4 cups water. Serve over ice. Make ahead up to four days; keep chilled. Makes 7 1/2 cups, or 6 servings.

From Chef Mai Pham of Star Ginger and Lemon Grass restaurants comes this recipe for Thai Lemonade.


6 Mexican limes or 2 regular limes

2/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate

1/2 cup cold simple syrup

6 fresh mint leaves and 3 mint sprigs

1/2 to 1 Thai chile or 1/4 to 1/2 serrano chile

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

How to Make It

Cut off and discard peel and outer white membrane from 4 Mexican limes or 1 regular (keep peel on the rest). Quarter all limes, cut out and discard white cores, and seed. Put 3 cups ice cubes in a blender, followed by the limes, frozen lemonade concentrate, simple syrup, mint leaves, chile, and sea salt. Whirl until very smooth, stirring often. Pour into glasses and add a mint sprig to each. Serve immediately. Makes about three cups. Double recipe to make a pitcher full.

Brazilian “Lemonade”

3 limes, quartered

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

How to Make It

Place all the ingredients in a blender. Add 4 cups cold water and blend on high speed until limes are slightly chopped. Strain into a pitcher and then, with the strainer still resting above the pitcher, slowly pour about 1 more cup water (depending on how sweet you want the drink) through the strainer over the lime pieces to extract all the residual sugar and juice. Makes about six cups.

Lemonade is not just for drinking; here is a lemonade recipe for all your summer grilling. Try it with seafood, chicken, pork, and ribs for a delightfully different summer taste sensation that’s lemony, sweet, and spicy, with an aromatic touch of fresh basil to add interest and depth.

Basil Chile Lemonade Glaze

3/4 cup (6 oz.) thawed frozen lemonade concentrate

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

Finely shredded zest of 4 lemons

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons red chile flakes

How to Make It

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Makes enough to glaze 5 lbs of ribs, serves 8. Can also be used as a marinade for anything grillable.

And for dessert, there’s this luscious lemonade concoction to look forward to! Stored airtight, this creamy, tangy frozen treat will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Recipe makes approximately one and a half quarts of deliciousness!

Lemonade Frozen Yogurt

1 quart (32 oz.) vanilla low-fat yogurt

12 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

How to Make It

In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemonade concentrate, half-and-half, lemon juice, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Chill until cold, about 30 minutes. Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. capacity) according to manufacturer’s instructions, until motor stops or dasher is hard to turn. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm enough to scoop, about 2 hours (see notes).

Last but not least, here’s a kid friendly lemonade based frozen treat the little ones are sure to lick up! You can use any mold you like for these popsicles, but you’ll get a different number of pops depending on the mold size.

Lemonade Blueberry Pops


1/2 cup blueberries

1 1/2 cups lemonade (homemade or store-bought)

How to Make It

Cut half of blueberries crosswise into thin slices, then cut the rest in half. Divide berries among 6 (1/3 cup) popsicle molds. Add lemonade (don’t insert sticks yet). Cover and freeze until slushy, about 1 1/2 hours. With a chopstick or table knife, stir popsicle mixture to distribute berries. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until solid, at least 3 hours more. To remove popsicles from molds, either let sit at room temperature 5 minutes or run under warm water 10 to 15 seconds. Make ahead up to 2 weeks, keep frozen.