Make Some Lemonade!

While it may seem to be quintessentially American, the first written evidence of lemonade is found in Egyptian writings. It was enjoyed by common folks who made lemonade from lemon juice, honey and dates.

Lemonade made with sugar was first introduced in France during the 16th century. In Paris in 1676, a business called the Compagnie de Limonadiers was given exclusive rights to sell lemonade, which their vendors sold by the cup from tanks carried upon their backs. The French term limonade has since come to mean “soft drink” in many languages.

Today, there are plenty of ready-made lemonade drinks in the grocery and supermarket. There are actually three types of lemonade: clear, cloudy and fizzy lemonade. Clear lemonade is made with carbonated soda or plain water without adding sugar. It is also referred to as lemon water. This used to be a popular beverage in the European countries; however, lately they have begun to drink sweet versions of lemonade as well. Cloudy lemonade is a traditional drink made with plain water, lemon and sugar and is mostly found in India, the United States and Canada. Fizzy lemonade refers to carbonated soda, either natural or artificial lemon flavor and high fructose corn syrup for sweetness.

Lemonade is the perfect summer drink. You’ll find it at picnics and barbecues by the pitcherful. Add a few lemon slices when serving or freeze lemon slices in your ice cubes to keep the lemonade nice and chilly. You can make simple lemonade or try a new adult alcoholic version.

Honey Bourbon Lemonade

This sophisticated lemonade will wow the crowd!

1 1/2 cups of sugar

2 quarts plus 2 cups of water, divided

2 cups of fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup bourbon (Old Williamsburg or other bourbon)

2 tablespoons honey

1 lemon sliced into rounds, for garnish

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and 2 cups of water to a simmer and stir until sugar is completely dissolved to create simple syrup.

In a large pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, bourbon, honey and 1 quart of water. Taste and add additional water to taste.

Serve in ice-filled glasses and garnish with lemon slices.

This lemon-flavored Sangria is a family favorite!

Pineapple Lemonade Sangria

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 bottle Chardonnay wine

1 (12-ounce) can of frozen lemonade

1/2 cup of Triple Sec liqueur

1 (20-ounce) can of pineapple chunks or tidbits, in juice

1 apple, cut into chunks

1 orange, sliced thin

1 lemon, sliced thin

6 strawberries, sliced

1 (12-ounce) can of lemon-lime soda

Strawberries, or lemon or orange slices, optional garnish

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and sugar to a simmer and stir until sugar is completely dissolved to create simple syrup.

In a large pitcher, combine the wine, lemonade, Triple Sec and simple syrup. Stir well. Add the pineapple with the juice, apple chunks, orange and lemon slices, and sliced strawberries. Stir and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, stir in lemon-lime soda.

Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade

This is a milder alcoholic version:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 large peaches

6 cups seltzer

1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 cups moscato wine (blue bottle)

In a small pot, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Remove the skins from 2 of the peaches using a serrated peeler. Remove the pit and place peaches in the blender or food processor, and purée until liquefied.

In a large pitcher, combine the puréed peaches, the cooled simple syrup, seltzer, lemon juice and wine. Stir to combine. Add ice cubes and stir again.

Cut the remaining peach into thin slices. Stir a few slices into the lemonade and use the others to garnish the glasses.