Here’s a reason to have a Lemon tree in your Florida yard – a steady supply of the main ingredient in homemade lemonade, just what a hot day calls for! Even central Florida can support several varieties of lemon trees, common to popular belief that they only do well in southern Florida. You simply have to protect them from any hard freeze that may come along. Throughout the United States, lemons are somewhat expensive, particularly in colder months, so consider it another perk of living in Florida! There are many ways to make lemonade, but our favorite comes from nothing more than water, the juice and pulp of six medium sized ripe lemons, and a simple syrup (it really IS simple to make!)
How To Make Homemade Lemonade
- six medium sized ripe lemons
- a gallon of water
- two cups sugar
Cut lemons in half, then juice the lemons (easier with a hand juicer, but can be done by hand without one). Use a strainer to catch seeds, but make sure you add the pulp back into the strained juice. This really helps give lemonade the zing and tartness most people love, but if you hate pulp, you can leave it out. Repeat this process with all of the lemons. You may want to reserve a third of one of the lemons to cut into pretty slices to add to the pitcher of lemonade.
In a large pot on the stove, bring four cups water and two cups sugar to a low boil. The purpose of doing this is to remove the “grit” from the sugar in the lemonade and make it smooth. You don’t want to scorch it or bring it to a hard boil. Stir continuously and boil just long enough to dissolve the sugar. It should have a consistency slightly thicker than water but not like syrup. It may be a very light yellow color. Let it cool, then add to the gallon pitcher.
Pour the lemon juice/pulp into the pitcher as well, then add the rest of the water to taste. Stir thoroughly. Garnish with a few lemon slices, a few strawberries, a few blueberries, a few sprigs of mint (or all of them!), chill, and serve. Be ready to repeat the process soon because a gallon doesn’t last long!
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