Thursday, May 21, 2009

Old Fashioned Hand-Squeezed Fresh Lemonade

Old fashioned homemade lemonade made with freshly squeezed lemons and simple syrup.
Old fashioned homemade lemonade made with freshly squeezed lemons and simple syrup.

Old Fashioned Hand-Squeezed Lemonade

I admit, there are some pretty good frozen lemonade concentrates out there, but a holiday like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day, just calls for something special and that means fresh, homemade lemonade to me. This one begins with a simple syrup, which really helps to provide that perfect balance between tart and sweet. Be careful not to over-boil the syrup though ... you don't want to make candy!

I hope that you give this a try. Although I love using frozen concentrate in a rush, it really cannot compete with fresh homemade lemonade made from lemons you just juiced yourself. Your guests will be very impressed.

Recipe: Old Fashioned Hand-Squeezed Fresh Lemonade

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Inactive time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hour 10 min
Yield: About 6 servings

  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 8 lemons)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 5 cups of cold water
  • Additional sliced lemon for garnish, optional

Make a simple syrup by bringing 1/2 cup of water and the sugar to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring regularly and heating until mixture becomes clear and slightly thickened. Set mixture aside to cool.

Using a microplane, zest one of the lemons; set aside. Squeeze the juice from about 8 lemons or until you have 1-1/2 cups of lemon juice. Add the juice to a 2 quart pitcher along with the zest and cold water. Whisk in the cooled simple syrup and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. Serve in tall glasses over ice and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Lemon-Lime: Add in 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice and lime slices.

Pink Lemonade: Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup grenadine, cranberry or pomegranate juice, or to taste.

Orange Lemonade: Prepare as above, except reduce lemon juice to 1 cup and add 1 cup orange juice. Garnish with thick cut orange slices.

Strawberry Lemonade: Prepare as above, except process 1 pound of rinsed and hulled strawberries in a blender or food processor. Strain, using a sieve, into the prepared lemonade.

Blueberry Lemonade: Prepare simple syrup as above. Add in 1 cup of fresh blueberries, reduce to a simmer and cook until berries pop and release. Strain, using a sieve and set aside to cool. Whisk into the lemonade as above.

Blackberry Lemonade: Prepare simple syrup as above. Process 2 cups of blackberries in a blender or food processor and strain, using a sieve, into the prepared lemonade.

Peach Lemonade: Prepare simple syrup as above. Process 1-1/2 pounds of fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced in a blender or food processor. Strain, using a sieve, into the prepared lemonade.

Pineapple Lemonade: Substitute 2 cups of pineapple juice for 2 cups of the water.

Honey Ginger Lemonade: Prepare simple syrup as above, except substitute 1/2 cup of honey for part of the granulated sugar and add 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger. Remove, strain out solids and let cool. Continue as above.

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on May 21, 2009

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  1. My mouth started to water as soon as I read the title of your post! This sounds and looks so refreshing!

  2. Oh fresh lemonade sounds so good right now!!! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Gosh, this looks refreshing! Nothing beats the sweet-tart of homemade lemonade.

  4. So pretty, and I'm sure it's very refreshing.

  5. Oh, I love that recipe. Brings back memories. Lemons used to be for very special occasions -- do you remember the lemondade scene in "The Glass Menagerie"? We also put in maraschino cherries...I know, they're bad for you...but they look so festive...

  6. there is nothing like "fresh" lemonade! nothing! i'm going to have to print this out and make over the weekend! thanks so much for stopping by my blog! i really appreciate your sweet comment, feel free to stop by anytime and bring over a cold glass of lemonade! lol

  7. Oh my gosh ... it had been awhile since I've had fresh lemonade and this was so wonderful! There is just nothin' like it is there?

    Can't remember the last time I saw that movie - would have to watch it again to refresh my mind! I only have so much room in there these days LOL...

    Shelley, you bet! ;)

  8. This is the best lemonade I've ever had! I like my lemonade tart, and this is the perfect blend of tart and sweet! Great way to cut this Southern heat!

  9. Made a pitcher for dinner before I saw your blog. Same instructions but I added a packet of Crystal Light Lemonade mix, as well.

  10. Oh my heavens!
    I am from Germany and never ever tasted a Lemonade this good!! I just made it but had to sample before I put it in the fridge. :)The only thing I wish I would have done is made more! This won't be enough for a greedy family of five. It's okay because it's all mine,lol.I am also cooking a couple more of your dishes for my Easter dinner this year. The caramel cake is in the oven as I type.
    Thank you so much!

  11. I am all the way from Germany and decided to try some of your recipes for my Easter dinner.
    I just made this Lemonade and OH MY Heavens!! It was so good and hasn't even been refrigerated yet!
    I had to sample :) The only thing I wish I would have noticed was that this won't be enough for the rest of my five greedy family members, haha. That's okay though because I hide it in the back of the fridge :) Thank you so much!
    Off to your caramel cake..

    1. Ha! You sound like me. I'm a little stingy with the fresh lemonade too. It takes quite a few lemons and it is SO good I just don't want to share!! Hope that you enjoy the cake too. Happy Easter!

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks so much Lindsay!! I could drink my weight in this lemonade - it really is so good. I'm glad you enjoyed it & thank you so much for coming back by and let me know!

  13. It's been along time since I've had refreshing homemade lemonade. This sounds like one to try this summer. Pinning it!

    Can you freeze the lemon peels and use the zest later?

    1. Thanks Kim - appreciate the pin!! Yes, while fresh is always best flavorwise, you can freeze the zest. It can be frozen as is in individually wrapped bundles - usually about a tablespoon - or use the ice cube tray method and cover the zest with the juice or water which seems to keep the flavor a little better.

  14. One of my all time favorites homemade lemonade. Thanks so much for sharing. Great recipie.



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