Top | Lemonade

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

(recipe, Fred Thompson)

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Homemade lemonade is comfort food. Like Mom’s meatloaf or mashed potatoes, the memories we associate with lemonade are special. Homemade lemonade is a treasure we need to pass on. My daughter, Laura, suggested that since the rind has lots of flavor (actually lemon oils), I needed to get it in the lemonade somehow. Since she was one of my chief guinea-pig tasters, I gave it some thought, and here’s the result. By infusing the zest into the sugar syrup, I got a bigger and more stimulating lemon essence, which made the lemonade better.


    1. Grated zest of 2 lemons
    2. 2 cups granulated sugar
    3. 2 cups water
    1. 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 12 lemons), 5 or 6 of the rinds reserved and roughly chopped
    2. 3 cups cold water
    3. Lemon slices for garnish (optional)


    1. Make the sugar syrup: Combine the zest, sugar, and water in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.
    2. Make the lemonade: Pour the sugar syrup into a 2-quart container. Let cool, then add the lemon juice, chopped lemon rinds, and cold water. Stir well to combine. Chill until very cold.
    3. Serve the lemonade: Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices, if desired.


    The lemon zest–infused sugar syrup is an elegant way to sweeten and add lemon flavor to iced tea. Set out a small pitcher the next time you serve iced tea.