The Ultimate Lemonade

Chef John does it again.

I’ve read some wonderful lemonade ideas on HO. After buying lemons specifically for this method as well as diving fully into cucumber lemonade, I wondered what method you find results in the best flavor.



Thank you for posting. As I read your thread title I thought to myself, “Lemonade is lemonade, how can there be an ultimate”.

Now I know better and I am definitely going to try this.

As for your question, I just normally halve and juice. I’ll add about 1 small lime per 5 lemons. I don’t like “lemon-lime” in equal proportions, but do like that little bit of lime in it. So I’ll likely zest the lime and sugar along with the lemons.

I do save the cuke water when I’m shredding for tzatziki sauce (or anything else that produces it), and put it in iced tea or lemonade, but I don’t shred cukes on purpose just to get that cuke water.

1 Like

Thank you for the reminder to utilize lime and cuke leftovers. Easy enough to freeze even up for lemonades to come.


Conveniently for me since Vietnamese is one of my very favorite cuisines, so far I have always found that Vietnamese restaurants make superb lemonade. May I never be proved wrong!


Mhm. Didn’t know that. Though I don’t miss city livin’. Vietnamese and Thai foods I legit miss. Never knew about he lemonade.

1 Like

Preserved lemon lemonade. Both sweet and salty. The saline level is how pungent?

1 Like

I had a lovely passionfruit lemonade at a small, family-owned Viet place here in Berlin recently. Really nice and refreshing, and not too sweet.

I love lemonade. I order it when I see it, and I make it at home from scratch.

A Lebanese restaurant in Toronto makes an orange blossom lemonade that’s a nice variation.

I have to cut back on sugar so I’m using a fraction of what most recipes call for.

I also like hot lemonade in the winter, something I first tried at an Austrian mountain cafeteria.

I made a strawberry syrup recently and added that to my Arnold Palmer . It would have also been good in lemonade.

I’m going to experiment with peach syrup this summer.

I cut back on sugar amounts from recipes and in many baked things and save it for splurges like that honey ice cream I devoured the other day. I do adore citrus, most of all lemons. When I made lemon iced tea recently I added dehydrated, sliced oranges to steep and was happy with it so I started adding the slices to lemonade. Lemonade goes with so many flavors.

In colder months, I just boil water and steep a piece of lemon and ginger in it.

Peach lemonade sounds really refreshing.

1 Like

Clever. I had the idea to make lemon sugar using zest for our lemonade stand today. But I couldn’t figure out how to strain out the fine peel easily and gave up on the idea. Now I know!

1 Like

For me, the easiest way to make lemonade is to keep a simple syrup on hand, then add to squeezed lemons and water.


I’m boring. I combine two cups of Meyer lemon juice (we have a tree) and two cups of simple syrup to a half gallon pitcher. Top it off with ice water, et voila! Lemonade. Last summer we bought a cheap box of red wine to make tinto de verano.


I found citric acid to definitely help with the balance!

I have to agree with the author on the enormous boost you get with lemon zest, whether lemonade or cake or frosting, sorbet, et al. Husband asked for lemonade, so I have zest and sugar macerating as we speak. Tomorrow, SUPER lemonade. ( We hope.)


Try roasting your lemons first.

Obviously let them cool first before juicing for lemonade.

Also add a bit of za’atar.

With those two steps, you can skip the simple syrup (or any type of sweetener).

1 Like

I’m a lemon/ginger tea fan as well. I add my metamucil to mine. Just cuz I like the Tang-like flavor of metamucil as well. No other reason, really. Just an old school fan of Tang. Yup

1 Like

I like the sound of the roasting idea. Good way to reduce any need for sugar.

Not a za’atar fan but the roasting is worth a go.

1 Like

tinto de verano.-noted to try. I’d loved to have my own lemon tree. No luck so far.

1 Like

I have a little Meyer lemon tree that I’ll keep as a house plant over the winter. I haven’t had it long enough to harvest any lemons yet.

I had a lime tree before, that I kept going for about 5 years, bringing it inside from October until May.
None of the limes I grew reached maturity. I’ll keep trying.:joy: