Buying lemonade or mixes at the store is certainly easier, but homemade lemonade can be tastier and better for you than ready-made. The basic ingredients for homemade lemonade are simple, but adding extra juices or foods livens up this common drink.
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The primary ingredient to any lemonade is lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is made by squeezing fresh lemons with a juicer. Electric juicers are relatively inexpensive and can be found in most kitchen and department stores, but hand juicers are very cheap and get the job done just as well. Choose lemons that are slightly soft to the touch without being mushy. After juicing, pour the lemon juice through a mesh strainer, removing any seeds.
The most common form of sweetener for lemonade is pure white sugar, although other sweeteners, such as artificial sugar substitutes and stevia, are available as well. Be careful when using artificial sweeteners because these can actually taste sweeter than regular sugar. If sugar substitutes are not appealing, try sweetening the lemonade with honey or apple juice instead. One cup of white sugar for 4 to 6 cups of water and 1 cup of lemon juice is a common ratio.
Use fresh, cool clean water for the best lemonade. Filtered water often tastes better than tapwater. For a drink with a little more pep, try making the lemonade with sparkling water. When making your lemonade, start with a ratio of about 3 cups of water per 1 cup of lemon juice. Taste and dilute or add lemon juice, as preferred.
Lemonade is tasty on its own, but adding other juices, such as lime, orange, cherry or pomegranate puts a pleasant twist on an old favourite. Adding a teaspoon of fresh ginger root, fresh mint or a cup of blended raspberries also provides extra flavour.
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