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A Brief History Of Lemonade

Updated: Apr 2

The first mention of beverages with lemon occurred in the 12th century. It was recorded by a physician that made drinks using fruits and herbs. His name was Ibn Jumay. During these times the health benefits of lemonade were recommended for the sick. Only wealthy consumers could afford the cost of lemonade at this time.

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In 1630 a lemonade drink was served in Paris made of sparkling water, lemon, and honey. There were many lemonade vendors that sold the lemonade in the late 16th century in Paris. They carried a tank strapped to their backs. The lemonade could be dispensed from the tank for customers. In 1676 the lemonade vendors formed a union in Paris.

Britain invented devices that made carbonated water easier to mass produce. This lead to a sparkling lemonade drink. In the 1830s Schweppes produced a fizzy lemonade that was sold in supermarkets. The temperance movement promoted lemonade as an alternative to alcohol. Soldiers carried a dry mix of sugar, lemon and citric acid to mix with water when traveling or in battle.

Pink lemonade is believed to have been invented by the circus. A concession worker accidently dropped some red cinnamon candy into a vat of lemonade. He sold it despite the accident and the customers loved it. Pink lemonade can be made by adding strawberries, raspberries, cranberries pureed or the juice of the fruit.

Lemonade stands in the 20th century have become a venture for children. Many artists have painted and drawn people serving lemonade. In the book Lemonade with Zest: 40 Thirst Quenching Recipes it discusses how lemonade is made around the world.

Turkish lemonade uses fresh whole lemons, zest and sugar. In Paris it is common for residents to use a citron press to make the beverage. Some people use sumac syrup to make a pink tangy lemonade. There are many different methods to making lemonade.

You can use fresh lemons to make lemonade, but lemon concentrate sold in supermarkets uses 100% fresh lemons. This can save you the time and cost of cutting and squeezing fresh lemons to make a quart or more of lemonade.

To make pink lemonade you can add cranberry or pomegranate juice. Some consumers puree fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries in a blender and add it to make pink lemonade.

National Lemonade Day

National Lemonade Day on May 7 celebrates the lemonade stand as an American tradition. The holiday was founded by Lisa and Michael Holthouse in 2007 to encourage teachers and parents to show

Photo Source: Pixabay/Erica Wittlieb

children lemonade stands are a good way to teach about money and running a small business. The sell pre-made lemonade stands for kids on Amazon, Esty, Walmart, and Target.


The Sweet History of Lemonade, by Anne Ewbank, Atlas Obscura, April 17, 2023

The Fascinating History of Lemonade, by Carrie Tatro, How Stuff Works, 2021

The Unusual Origins of Pink Lemonade by Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 2016

Tart Tangy Lemonade

Photo Source: Pikist

You will need a measuring cup, pitcher, bottled or tap water to mix the lemonade.

You can buy lemon concentrate at the supermarket a popular brand is RealLemon found in the juice section of most markets. It is easy to use when you have a busy schedule and want to make lemonade for your family or friends. You can boil tap water on the stove to remove some impurities let it cool and use for beverages.


8 to 10 cups of bottled or tap water

1 cup of lemon concentrate or more

sugar optional

Measure water using measuring cup into container or pitcher. Add 1 cup of lemon concentrate and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Add sugar if desired. Serve with ice. Serves about 4.

Photo Source: Foodista

Pink Lemonade

To make pink lemonade add 1/2 cup of pomegranate or cranberry juice to the recipe above. Puree some strawberries or raspberries and add this to the mixture. Chill for an hour or more in the refrigerator and serve over ice in a glass.

Animation Source: Giphy

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