It is believed that lemonade was originally created by the medieval Egyptians over 1500 years ago. At this time in Cairo, the bottles of lemon juice were mixed with sugar to make a popular drink known as qatarmizat.
Years later, in 1873, the popular pink version was, according to legend, accidentally invented at a circus stand in New Jersey. One of the female bareback riders hung her red tights to dry precariously close to Billie Griffith's brewing batch of lemonade. A strong wind blew the tights into the lemonade and tinted it pink. With crowds already arriving, Billie was forced to serve his pink-tinted lemonade.
Why all these lemonade fun facts? Today is Lemonade Day, so make yourself a pitcher! For my classic recipe, as well as one with an alcoholic twist,
3 cups lemon or lime juice, about 20 lemons or 25 limes freshly squeezed
2 cups superfine sugar
4 cups cold water
4 cups ice
2 lemons or limes, thinly sliced for garnish
- Into a large serving container, strain the citrus juice, mix it with sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add 4 cups cold water and stir again until well combined. Add ice to fill and a few lemon or lime slices.
Makes 10 cups.
1 cup packed mint leaves, chopped
1-cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups vodka
Crushed ice for serving
Fresh mint springs, optional for garnish
- Combine chopped mint and sugar in a large bowl or pitcher.
- Stir in lemon juice and vodka.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Strain mixture into serving pitcher.
- Fill six 6-8 ounce festive glasses with crushed ice. Pour mixture over. Garnish with mint springs.