One of summer’s best pastimes is sitting on a porch swing with a pitcher of sweet and tart lemonade and enough cups to go around.
Far be it from us to refuse a cold glass of lemonade on a hot afternoon, but making lemonade from scratch is surprisingly easy and much tastier than mix that you add to water.
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In honor of National Lemonade Day on Thursday, Aug. 20, dust off the citrus press and mix a batch of lemonade with plenty of ice.
CLASSIC HOMEMADE LEMONADE
From Number 2 Pencil.
Adjust the amount of sugar or lemon juice slightly for a sweeter or more sour drink, whatever you like.
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups fresh, cold water
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 20 small lemons)
- Squeeze and strain lemons.
- Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to a boil to make a simple syrup.
- Reduce heat and let simmer until sugar is totally dissolved. Let cool.
- Combine syrup with lemon juice and stir well. Refrigerate until chilled.
COCONUT LAVENDER LEMONADE
This pretty purple and yellow drink is perfect all summer long.
- 1½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 8 cups coconut water
- 4 cups water
For the lavender simple syrup:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1½ cups water
- 3 tbsp. dried lavender
- Violet food coloring
- Place lemon juice, sugar, coconut water and water into a pitcher and shake well until all sugar is dissolved.
- Make simple syrup by combining sugar, water and lavender in saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat and let boil for one minute.
- Remove, cover and let lavender steep for 20 minutes. Strain and add food coloring.
- Set aside to let cool.
- Add half of the simple syrup to the pitcher and stir.
HONEY MINT LEMONADE
From Foxes Love Lemons.
The sweetness of the honey and the cool mint make this a refreshing drink to have on a hot afternoon.
For mint simple syrup:
- ¾ cup granualted sugar
- ¾ cup water
- ⅓ cup packed, chopped fresh mint leaves
- 3 cups water
- 1½ cups fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. honey
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish
- Make the simple syrup by stirring all ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain, throw away mint and let chill for four hours.
- In a pitcher, stir water, lemon juice, honey and simple syrup. Fill six glasses with lemonade over ice and garnish with fresh mint.
Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron.