Homemade Lemonade

preserving bottles

Homemade lemonade is tart and fruity, a very different liquid to the clear, fizzy stuff sold commercially as lemonade. It’s simple to make and is a classic, delicious taste of summer.

Preserving Bottles

Homemade lemonade will keep for a week in the fridge if stored in airtight containers, such as swing top glass bottles. Make sure the bottles are very clean or, ideally, sterilised before decanting the lemonade.

Ingredients to serve 6:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 or 4 cups of cold water to dilute

Equipment:

  • Juicer
  • Preserving bottles
  • Funnel
  • Small, heavy based saucepan

The key to a lemonade that is tart and sweet in equal proportions is the sugar syrup. Make this by heating the sugar and water gently until the sugar is completely dissolved. The quantities given make a fairly sweet lemonade so reduce the amount of sugar if you prefer a more tart recipe.

When the sugar syrup has cooled slightly add it to a jug with the lemon juice and 3 or 4 cups of water to dilute. Taste for strength and add more water if you need to. Refrigerate for about half an hour and serve with plenty of ice cubes and slices of lemon, or pour into glass bottles to store. For an original twist, use limes instead of lemons and add a shot of rum or vodka for a very grown-up limeade.

Pink lemonade is a pretty variation on the theme. You will need:

  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 orange
  • About 500g raspberries
  • Preserving bottles
  • Funnel
  • Heavy based saucepan
  • Sieve

Add all the ingredients to the pan with 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly, then leave to cool. Pass through a sieve, pressing down well with a spoon on the fruit to get all of the juice. Pour into the preserving bottles through using the funnel and store in the refrigerator. Serve diluted with a little still or sparkling water, ice cubes and some mint leaves.

Other Goodies for Your Preserving Bottles

For ginger lemonade, use the above recipe but substitute the orange and raspberries for 50 g of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced. Prepare the lemonade using the same method for a warmer and spicier version of traditional lemonade.

You could also use the ginger lemonade as a base for a thyme punch, by adding 250ml of good gin to 650ml of ginger lemonade, followed by 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped and a handful of ice cubes.

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