Old fashioned lemonade

Looking down through an arrangement of lemon laden branches to a wicker tray lined with a black and white striped tea towel to a lemon and some leaves.

On a grey, cool morning just the other day I decided it was time to pick the first lemons from our tree. Big, bulbous fruit had been ripening on the branch for a few weeks and the lemons looked and felt just right. If you’ve been around here for a little while, you’ll know I love pretty much anything lemon-flavoured and normally when our tree bears fruit I gravitate towards making a dessert. After trawling recipe after recipe though, I just couldn’t find anything that really whet my appetite. Then one night I got a real hankering for proper old fashioned lemonade. The type that’s a cloudy lemon colour and not too sweet. The type you’d drink out of a straw from a nice glass, sitting under a tree on a sunny day while picnicking, Enid Blyton The Famous Five style. Again I trawled through recipes until I found one that had minimal ingredients and could easily be rustled up with little notice.

The end result hit the spot perfectly…

The recipe I chose to follow was from U.K. supermarket chain, Tesco, which gave me faith my British picnic fantasy for this drink would be fulfilled. I wasn’t disappointed.

Lemon laden branches in a tall glass vase on a wicker serving tray lined with a black and white striped tea towel.

What you’ll need

  • 90ml of sugar syrup
  • 150ml of lemon juice (three medium sized lemons from my tree)
  • Sparkling water
  • One extra lemon sliced
  • Mint, to garnish (optional)
Juiced lemon halves on a green chopping board with a knife, beside a jug of lemon juice.

How to do it

  1. Start by making your sugar syrup. Combine 200g of caster sugar with 250ml of water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a small jug and then allow to cool. The leftover sugar syrup can be stored in the fridge for use later. In our case, for another jug of lemonade a few days later ;).
  2. In a jug, combine your sugar syrup, lemon juice (I strained mine through a sieve after juicing to remove any pulp and seeds) and sparkling water (the 500ml I added to my jug gave a nice, strongly lemon flavoured drink – but add more or less depending on taste preferences). Add sliced lemon to your jug and individual glasses, and serve icy cold with a few mint sprigs, if you so desire. I didn’t have any mint on hand, so there was none in my drinks!
Home made lemonade in a jug and glass, sat on a wicker serving tray with a striped tea towel, beside a jar of lemon laden branches.

It’s such a simple recipe, but it really tastes very special. I think a home made soft drink would be a lovely addition to any gathering of friends or family. A lovely jug full of bubbly lemonade certainly looks a lot more appealing than a plastic bottle of something store bought. You could also easily use this recipe as a base for a cocktail. Perhaps with a nip of gin and maybe some lime juice or perhaps even ginger? Yum.

If you’ve got a couple of lemons begging to be used up in the fruit bowl, give this recipe a go – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Have a wonderful week.

M. x

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