One of the many things I love about summertime is homemade lemonade!! And I mean real, homemade lemonade. From lemons. My parents have a lemon tree in their backyard that produces year-around (made possible by the warm California climate). Robbie and I take my 6-year-old daughter, Keanna, out to pick bags-full of lemons a few times each summer. When we get home, Keanna and I get busy juicing. We have a simple electric citrus juicer that makes quick work of it.
If you don’t have a lemon tree, lemons from the store will work just as well. Bottled lemon juice will suffice, though there is a noticeable difference in taste from fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Unfortunately, lemons are somewhat pricey at the grocery store. Fortunately, lemon juice freezes very well. If you do not have a lemon tree or know someone who has one, you can buy lemons when they are on sale, juice them, and freeze the juice. I usually freeze the juice in one-and-a-half-cup portions so I can pull it out of the freezer anytime I want to make lemonade.
One thing to keep in mind when using fresh-squeezed lemon juice is that the acidity and potency will vary from tree to tree and lemon to lemon. The following recipe is simply a guide that you can adjust to your taste. Like it sweeter? Add more sugar. Like it weaker, add more water.
1½ c. lemon juice
6 c. water
1¼-1⅓ c. sugar
Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher and mix until sugar is dissolved. Serve chilled or iced. Yield 2 quarts. Total cost (if you have a lemon tree): almost FREE!!