When I was younger, my brother, cousins and I spent a lot of time with our grandparents. My grandmother would buy the huge canisters of Country Time lemonade and make lemonade for us all summer long. It’s still one of my favorite summertime drinks and I always associate lemonade with times spent at the lake with my grandparents.
This recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice. My husband and I like to throw our lemons into our Ninja blender to get the most juice out of them that we can, plus we like a little of the pulp that we get out of the blender. If you prefer, half your lemons and then squeeze the juice out. A helpful hint is to place the lemons in the microwave for 15 seconds, and to roll them on your countertop while pressing down with the palm and heel of your hand; this helps them to release more juice.
If you want to try the blender method, we peel our lemons, halve them, and then remove as many of the seeds as we can. Next we blend the lemons with about 1/2 cup of water and strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. In Mexico, where we learned about limonada, they don’t peel the lemons or limes. The restaurants there add them unpeeled, into the blender. The problem with that is that it can lead to a more bitter drink the longer the lemonade sits, causing it to require more sugar, and I’m not trying to use a ton of sugar.
Just so you know, the lemonade won’t be as clear using our blender method, but it has great flavor and a little pulp, which we like. I’ve gotten used to drinking less sweet beverages since moving away from the South, so if you prefer a sweeter lemonade then add more sugar. This lemonade reminds me a lot of the lemonade from Chick-fil-A and the lemonada that you find all over Mexico. If you want a true Mexican lemonada try this with limes, which are traditionally used in Mexico. It’s a little more tart, but still delicious.
I hope that you’ll try this recipe today and leave a comment below. Also, follow @lifeabovethecafe on Instagram for daily updates!
Juice 6-8 lemons for 1 & 1/2 cups of lemon juice. We peel our lemons and take out the seeds, blend them in our Ninja blender, and then strain the mixture to separate the pulp from the juice.
In a large pitcher, add the sugar to a cup of warm water and mix it well until the sugar dissolves. If you prefer a very sweet lemonade use more sugar. This is just the right level of sweet and sour for my family with 3/4 cup of sugar, but use up to 1 & 1/2 cups if you prefer.
Add the lemon juice and 5 more cups of water and stir well. Serve over ice. Keep refrigerated. Garnish with lemon slices.
Notes * You can substitute the sugar in this recipe for your favorite sugar alternative or don’t add the sugar at all for a refreshing flavored water.