If there’s a drink that can bring back childhood memories, it’s a big icy glass of lemonade. There probably isn’t anyone the United States that doesn’t know what the taste of lemonade is. But as a quick refresher, pun intended, lemonade is made using three basic ingredients: Lemons, water, and sugar. There is drink called the “Texas Lemonade” that’s basically a mix of lemonade and vodka (or tequila, depending on who’s making it).
- It is illegal in 35 states for minors to sell lemonade without permits.
- Native Americans were the first to consume lemonade in America using lemon juice sweetened with sugarcane, they called it Nimbu Pani.
- The earliest records of lemonade being consumed as in Egypt over a thousand years ago.
- The Compagnie de Limonadiers was the name of a group who was given the monopoly to sell lemonade in Paris in 1676.
Lemonade Buying Guide
For us, the best way to enjoy lemonade would be to buy the freshest lemons and squeeze your own. But we understand that not everyone has the time to pick lemons, squeeze and mix up their own lemonades. We also see the appeal of grabbing something off the shelf and just cooling off right then and there.
Aside from getting fresh lemons, there are a couple of other options for you to enjoy a quick lemonade fix and we’re going to go over some of them now.
- Ready to drink lemonade—This is the most convenient form of lemonade, just grab the bottle and enjoy right there and then. If you really need to have that lemonade fix, here are some things to look out for on the bottle.
- High fructose corn syrup—Yes, this ingredient again. High fructose corn syrup has been linked with a lot of conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and other avoidable medical conditions, avoid if possible. Look for lemonades with natural sweeteners like pure cane sugar.
- Artificial Flavorings—For a few cents more, you can easily get ready to drink lemonade that’s made from organic lemons, just check the labels properly.
- Natural and Artificial Coloring—This does absolutely nothing for the flavor of the lemonade and it may or may not have health effects. Best to avoid ready to drink lemonades that are full of coloring.
- Preservatives—Due to lemons being naturally acidic, they really shouldn’t require preservatives. Avoid ready to drink lemonade with ingredients that look like they fit in better with a science experiment.
- Lemonade Powders—This is possibly the most common quick-fix lemonade product out there. Most are made from “natural” and artificial flavorings. Here are some common ingredients found in instant lemonade mixes.
- Magnesium Oxide—This is an anti-caking ingredient. This prevents the powder from becoming one whole solid block.
- Natural and Artificial Coloring—Added for visual appeal, I don’t know about you, but we drink our lemonade and not stare at it.
- Sucralose—This is an artificial sweetener that’s commonly used in ready to mix drinks, much sweeter than sugar and there have been studies suggesting long-term health effects.
- Lemon Powder — If you’re looking for something instant, then this is the route that we suggest. Lemon powder or crystals are processed much like how dried coffee is processed. You’re basically getting dried lemons that you can easily rehydrate and make a lemonade with. Just add sugar and water. Look for the ones labeled with the USDA Organic badge and the NON-GMO badge.
- Lemon Concentrate—Lemon concentrates are fine as long as they are sourced from organic lemons and contain no other “natural flavorings” and artificial flavorings. Check the label properly for any added sweeteners as well, if possible, avoid concentrates with any added sweeteners.
Lemonade Production & Farming in Texas
Texas is home to some of the best Meyer lemons in the country so it’s not surprising that lemonades in Texas are a notch higher than what you can find anywhere else. Meyer lemons are sweeter and more fragrant than regular lemons so it follows that the lemonade made from it is tastier and uses less sugar, therefore a bit healthier than lemonade made from regular lemons.
The best place to find real good lemonades would be in farmers’ markets and local cafes where they squeeze the lemons on site, guaranteeing the freshest lemonades free from any preservatives and other additives that might be present in commercially produced lemonades.
There are also stores all around Texas that specialize in creating artisan lemonades. They make lemonades with many different flavor twists and are all hand-crafted. These specialty lemonade stores also offer delivery services so you can enjoy the best lemonades wherever you are.
Chemicals and Additives:
Most commercially produced lemonades have a lot of additives to make them last longer and look better on store shelves. Here are some of the common ingredients that can be found in store-bought commercial lemonades.
- Potassium Citrate
- Sodium Citrate
- Magnesium Oxide
- “Natural Flavors”
- Acesulfame Potassium
- Soy Lecithin
- Artificial and Natural Colorings
Ready to drink lemonade comes in glass or plastic bottles. For powdered mixes, they come in plastic jars or in cylindrical cartons with lids on them. Powdered mixes are also available in single-serve sachets. Lemon concentrates are usually packed in glass bottles.
The only way to enjoy lemonade is when it’s ice cold. Due to its tartness, warm lemonade is nowhere near palatable as ice cold lemonade.
Lemonade is best consumed immediately. For commercially purchased lemonade and mixes, refer to the packaging for proper storage instructions.
Make Your Own Lemonade:
Here is a quick and easy lemonade recipe that you can easily do at home.
2 cups Meyer Lemon Juice (locally sourced organic Meyer lemons are the best)
2 cups water
½ cups granulated sugar (raw, organic sugar if you can find it)
a pinch of salt
In a small pot or saucepan, melt the sugar with the water over low heat. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, turn off the heat and transfer to a pitcher.
Add the lemon juice to the pitcher and add a pinch of salt, stir until well blended.
Once the mixture has cooled, place in the refrigerator to cool.
Serve chilled over ice. Enjoy!