How Do You Make Lemonade?
With alcohol-free on the up, you might be looking for options based on drinks you drank as a kid. But to keep it natural, you might be asking, How do you make Lemonade?
I mean, until I gave up alcohol, I had actually forgotten about Lemonade altogether.
After all, Lemonade can be a bit boring, right?
Not so fast as becoming sexy again, and that is down to brands such as Fentimans.
How about making your own? Would that be healthy? Does lemonade contain many health benefits?
Well compared to alcohol, of course. But not so fast. What about that sugar, right?
So how do you make Lemonade naturally?
Lemonade is easy to make.
All you need is some lemons, sugar, and some water.
People love Lemonade, and for a good reason. In hot weather, there’s nothing better.
But if you want to make Lemonade, how do you make it? First, you squeeze the lemons.
Then you put the two cups of juice and the sugar in a pot and bring it to a boil.
Then you let it simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Now, you might say, that’s easy. But it isn’t. Making good Lemonade is hard.
The trouble begins as soon as your sugar has dissolved. How do you keep it from coming back up?
Lemons have a lot of sugar.
Even if you pick only the sweetest lemons, you’ll end up with something like 4 to 5 cups. If it’s hot, the mixture will boil and bubble.
And when you’re cooking sugar, you’re also burning it. Eventually, the bubbles burst.
The mix comes to a boil again, and the sugar starts to burn again. (It burns a second time when it hits the cold water.) This repetition goes on and on, and the bubble bursts again and again.
This burning is called caramelization.
Caramelization is irreversible. Once the sugar starts to burn, it has burned itself out.
So what do you do? You throw everything away and start over, adding fresh lemon juice and sugar. But that’s hard, too.
First, you have to squeeze every drop of juice out of the lemons. (The juice you extract this way is bitter.) Then you have to pour the liquid into a pot, boil it, and strain it.
Easy right, so much so that it could drive you to alcohol. Fear not. There is hope.
Maybe a bit of history will help, correct?
I am a badass with alcohol-free options and I ain’t letting go.
Why Was Lemonade Invented?
Lemonade is a drink that was invented when people were drinking too much.
A bit like now then! But there is a story!
Invented by a French doctor named Nicolas Peychaud in 1740, at a time when many people were drinking heavily, and a lot of doctors were losing patients to alcohol.
Alcohol-free beer in Spain actually has a similar story.
So the drink was sweetened with sugar and contained alcohol and water. It was called “Lemonade” because sugar and lemon are both acidic, and lemon juice has been used for medicinal purposes for a thousand years.
But it was still a drink, and people liked it.
Eventually, people found out it was a healthy drink. Well, kind of! Compared to alcohol, then yes, I guess.
There is a but!
Unfortunately, they got addicted to it, and doctors were losing patients to it. If you did not laugh, you would cry!
So they changed the recipe. They added alcohol.
Here we go again!
But most alcohol comes from distillation, which requires a lot of heat. So if you put alcohol in Lemonade, you dilute it, which cuts the flavour.
So they came up with a drink called “Fresca,” which was diluted with sugar and water and flavoured with lemon.
Fresca was popular for a while, but people started noticing that they were drinking more of it than Lemonade, giving them more alcohol than they wanted. So they changed it again. This time, they changed the flavour and the name.
They called it “lemonade,” which wasn’t watered down, but they still added alcohol.
Lemonade is still a drink most people like.
Lemonade isn’t the healthiest beverage, is it?
But if you’re drinking less alcohol than you did, it’s definitely not the healthiest thing around.
The lesson is that changing a good product into a product that helps sell something else is risky.
When you’re trying to change something, sometimes the best you can do is stay the same.
Lemonade is an old drink (yes, and it is not like the ones you buy at the store)
Lemonade is an old drink, made for thousands of years, and in many cultures, both sweet and savoury. So even its name might date back centuries.
Some historians think it comes from the ancient Persian word limâdân, meaning “sour drink.” Today Lemonade is primarily sweet and fizzy.
In the past, Lemonade was often savoury, wine-like, and at least as popular today.
Some of the lemonade recipes in cookbooks date back hundreds of years, and for some of them, the cook had to be a magician.
Lemonade, for example, was usually made by squeezing lemon juice, sugar, and water together.
The recipes were complicated, calling for all kinds of strange ingredients.
The juice from certain flowers or herbs, or trees was used. The recipes were even more complex if the Lemonade was to be flavoured with spices or other flavours.
The cooks used exotic ingredients partly because they didn’t increase and somewhat because exotic ingredients were prized.
There was an expensive spice called storax, for example, that was distilled from birch bark and used in the earliest recipes. But most recipes were quite simple.
The cook needed only lemons, sugar, and water, and the drink was made with a press or a blender.
Yes, as people cut back on alcohol, it is back as a drink!
Today the drink lemonade is popular again, and many different lemonades are sold, both sweet and savoury.
The supermarket shelves are lined with bottles. But here is the thing. You will not find them on the alcohol-free drinks aisle.
In fact, it is hard to find any alcoholic wine, beers, and spirits in some stores.
So Lemonade might be your best option.
But which one should you choose? You may be quite right to think that sweet Lemonade is better for you than something with flavourings or other ingredients.
But flavourless Lemonade, if it is made from real lemons, is healthy, too.
Let us not get too snobby about alcohol-free Lemonade. As an alcohol-free drinker, you need all the options you can get.
Is Lemonade Cheap and Refreshing?
Lemonade is great stuff. It’s refreshing, it’s tart, it’s cool, and it’s cheap. Hey, let’s celebrate!
It also contains a lot of sugar
People used to believe that sugar was fattening and that people who ate lots of sugar became fat. This belief remained unquestioned until about a century ago.
By the 1920s, many physicians were declaring sugar to be dangerously fattening.
The newspapers were full of stories of children put into sanitariums because they got diabetes from eating sugar.
Some people believed them. They wanted to outlaw sugar.
But the government wasn’t interested in banning sugar. It wanted to sell sugar to people in as much of it as possible. The sugar industry was a powerful lobby, and people knew it. So the sugar industry started to run a series of studies.
They gave people very little sugar. And then they gave them more sugar. They then asked them how much sugar they wanted.
And the more sugar they gave people, the more they said they wanted.
The government was so impressed with these results that it stopped worrying about whether sugar was fattening. Instead, it decided that sugar was harmless and that it had to stop telling people it was fattening.
The sugar industry went on selling sugar. Its customers were delighted. And the sector kept killing people with its sugar.
Sugar is good for you. But sugar is bad for you too.
You know the score, and it is clearly about balance, especially if you have given back or cut back on alcohol, right?
The sugar industry’s studies are, frankly, ridiculous. You should have heard the arguments they made and the objections they raised.
But they were persuasive, at least for a while.
If you are confused about this topic, don’t worry. Many of the political issues you read about these days are.
When switching from alcohol to a soft drink, check the sugar content. It is like anything else. Don’t believe all the hype.
And yes, a bit of what you fancy is no bad thing! In fact, many alcohol alternatives have less sugar than alcoholic drinks.
Does Lemonade Have Vitamin C?
We shouldn’t assume that Lemonade is always healthy for you.
For example, some brands of lemon-lime soda contain nearly as many calories as a glass of Lemonade, and some have more caffeine than a cup of coffee.
And some of the sugar in Lemonade comes from high fructose corn syrup.
But it’s healthier than soda.
And it’s tastier, too.
A glass of ice tea or Lemonade usually contains about as much sugar as a soda.
However, much more sugar is lost in the dilution and evaporation, so it’s a little deceptive.
A glass of ice tea or Lemonade also gives your body more potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins than does a glass of soda. And it contains far less caffeine.
And, of course, pure Lemonade contains only fruit juice, so it’s relatively free of additives.
The calories in a glass of Lemonade are equivalent to half a banana. Therefore, if you drink one glass a day, you will not gain 10 pounds in a year, as you might if you drank two cans of regular soda.
Just do the maths, and if you are concerned, check with a dietician. I did, but they took the balanced approach.
Myth: Lemonade is Good for Hangovers ( pull the other one)
Lemonade, people tell me, is suitable for hangovers.
I hope that makes sense.
Alcohol is bad.
Lemonade is good.
I am afraid it is up there with coffee – sorts out everything. Nope, it does not!
But is Lemonade really any good?
There is an essential debate in nutrition circles about whether sugar is harmful or healthful.
The consensus seems to be that sugar is not suitable for you and that the best strategy is to avoid it.
But sugar is everywhere.
Sugar is the most common source of calories for most of us. But, what is the amount of sugar we consume every day?
Most people are unaware of this. So I surveyed 20 students to find out about my local university campus.
Ok, not very scientific.
I was a random guy just asking about their drinking habit.
I completed the survey in about 10 minutes. Students were unaware their answers would be analyzed.
Many of them were going to college.
And trying to achieve good grades, some took the survey for fun just because they actually liked being asked.
The survey contained three questions.
- The first asked whether the students had ever had more than one alcoholic drink on a school night.
- The second asked whether the students drank at least one glass of alcohol on school nights every week.
- The third asked whether the students drank at least one alcoholic drink on school nights at least once a month.
What was amazing was that Lemonade was generally not the drink they went for. Plus, drinking while still having fun sometimes at the weekend was a thing.
Most younger people avoid alcohol, and it just is not cool.
Know Your Alcohol Limits with Drinkaware
They were more likely to order a soft drink in a bar.
But Lemonade did not come up much at all.
My Lemonade Choice is Fentimans ( History anyone)
The first Fentimans product was Fentimans lemonade, invented in 1804 by Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen.
Priestley wasn’t the first to develop Lemonade, but he was the first to create carbonated Lemonade and the first person to sell it.
In the 19th century, carbonated beverages were all the rage. Sugar substitutes like saccharine, invented in 1866, and sorbitol, created in 1903, made carbonated drinks much sweeter and easier to drink.
But the drinks were still full of sugar, and people started looking for healthier alternatives. In 1955, a chemist named Arthur Seybold decided to see if something could be made from sugar substitutes that were like the real thing.
He discovered that a combination of fructose and citric acid was sweet, carbonated, and fizzy. So he named it fentimans and made it the brand name for a carbonated drink that tasted exactly like Lemonade.
The drink was a huge hit. In the United States, Fentimans was the best-selling sparkling beverage on the market. Americans drank 2.5 million gallons of Fentimans a year.
In 1970, the company that owned Fentimans, Sprite, bought Sprite from Coca Cola. In 1977, Sprite changed its name to Sprite.
Today, Sprite is still sold under the Fentimans name. But Sprite is no longer carbonated. In 1978, Sprite introduced the diet Sprite, and in 1983, diet Sprite became Sprite Zero.
Fentimans is a healthy soft drink and contains no alcohol. The Fentimans lemonade range only contains natural sugars and vitamins.
The content is flavoured with natural flavourings from plants.
The drinks do not contain artificial flavouring, colourants, or preservatives. There is no alcohol in the Fentimans range.
- Lemonade, when made naturally, can be an excellent alcohol-free option
- Watch out for the sugar level
- Choose a good Lemonade brand like Fentimans
How Do You Make Lemonade? With lemons and it will be uplighting, but it is not easy. But worth it probably.
Philip Roberts is the Author of Stop Drinking Alcohol Now on Audible.