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This is the easiest, most delicious and refreshing of all home-made drinks. Ring the changes and you will never tire of it. It’s also good for you. About a million times gooder than any store bought soda which has 10-11 teaspoons of sugar per can.

Basic Syrup

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Heat the water, dissolve the sugar in it and let it cool.
Add the lemon juice. Couldn’t be easier!
Store in the fridge and add water (still or sparkling) and ice to taste.
Remember – all the ones and double up for larger quantities.

Now let’s make it more delicious.

Use soft brown sugar instead of white for a wonderful flavor or half brown/half white.

Cut strips of rind off one lemon (no white pith – just thin strips of rind) and add to the syrup hot water. Leave in the syrup – the flavors will intensify. Or take out after a day or two once it’s just right for you – it can get a little bitter if left in for too long.

Make it with Limes or Meyers’ Lemons for a differently delicious limey or lemony flavor.

Mint Lemonade—Bright & Fresh
Add a handful of mint leaves to the hot water. Leave in the syrup – the flavors will intensify over time or take out when it’s minty enough for you.

Strawberry Lemonade—Pretty in Pink
Take a pound of fresh strawberries, wash and hull them. Chop them roughly and simmer them in a cup of water for a few minutes.
Blend or mash (a potato masher works great)

Cool and sieve (you don’t want any seeds or pulp).
Let the juice sit for an hour so any pulp can sink to the bottom. You can add it all to the lemon syrup but it will make it cloudy.
Add a cup of clear strawberry juice for each cup of lemon juice.

Prickly Pear Lemonade—Psychedelic Purple
The taste of the prickly pear is more subtle—the color is absolutely spectacular, it’s hard to believe it comes from nature. You can grow prickly pears yourself or buy them in Publix, your local wholefood or latin american food store.
Cut 4 or 5 prickly pears in half and scoop their innards out into a pan.
Add a cup or so of water and simmer until the fruit softens and breaks up.
Smash with a potato masher.
Sieve to get the juice but not the seeds.

Add a cup of prickly pear juice for each cup of lemon juice.
Prickly pear ‘limeade’ is not such a nice color. Green + purple = a muddy purple!
Prickly Pear Limeade is not such a nice color – the green turns it a muddy purple.

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