Lemonade is a lemon-flavored drink sweetened with sugar. In different parts of the world, there are variations on the drink and its name. Pink lemonade and frozen lemonade are also prepared. Limeade substitutes out the lemons for limes.
In North America, certain European and African countries, and most Asian countries lemonade is usually made from lemon juice, water, and sugar or honey and is often home-made as well as at juice shops as 'Fresh Lime'.
In the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and some other English-speaking countries, lemonade is a commercially-produced, lemon-flavored, carbonated, sweetened soft drink (similar to lemon-lime sodas in North America without the lime). Although lemonade is usually non-alcoholic, in recent years alcoholic versions of lemonade (called "hard lemonade") have become popular in various countries.
In Canada, the UK and US
In the United Kingdom, lemonade most often refers to a clear, carbonated, sweetened, lemon-flavored soft drink, similar to the lemon-lime sodas sold in the U.S. The suffix "-ade" in British English is used for several carbonated sweet soft drinks, such as limeade, orangeade or cherryade.
In the UK and other places the American-style drink is often called "traditional lemonade" or "homemade lemonade". Carbonated versions of this are also sold commercially as "cloudy" or "traditional" lemonade. There are also similar uncarbonated products, lemon squash and lemon barley water, both of which are usually sold as a syrup which is diluted to taste.
In the United States and Canada, lemonade is an uncarbonated drink made from squeezed lemon juice, water, and sugar. Slices of lemon are sometimes added to a pitcher as a garnish and further source of flavoring.
It can be made fresh from fruit, reconstituted from frozen juice, dry powder, or liquid concentrate, and colored in a variety of shades. It can also be frozen into a slush or Popsicle-type dessert. Artificially sweetened and artificially flavored versions are also popular. Also, some types of artificially flavored alcoholic lemonade are popular.
Pink lemonade and other variants
Pink lemonade may be colored with the juices of raspberries, cherries, red grapefruit, grapes, cranberries, strawberries, grenadine, or artificial food dye. The pink-fleshed, ornamental Eureka lemon is commonly used as its juice is clear though it is sometimes thought to be too sour to drink. An alternative pink lemonade recipe is made from the Staghorn Sumac's fruit, which are picked, washed, crushed and sweetened before being added to water.
Other citrus fruits, namely lime, orange, and grapefruit, have analogous preparations; there is also raspberryade. The citrus -ades are also mixed with one another as well as other fruits, spices, nuts, and the like to come up with a huge number of derivatives, of which the pink lemonades, raspberry lemonade, cherry lemonade, strawberry lemonade, cherry limeade, mint limeade, black cherry lemonade and lemon-limeade are most popular and which are bottled by companies for sale in many countries. Strawberry lemonade in slush form is distributed by chain restaurants like McDonald's as well. Bars, restaurants, and chains thereof such as the Sonic drive-thrus usually have materials on hand to make them on request as well; Sonic in particular has a large number of flavourings which can be combined with any of the base drinks. Peach lemonade is a popular example of a version that can be ordered or improvised by the drinker.
The New York Times credited Henry E. "Sanchez" Allott as the inventor of pink lemonade in his obituary, saying he had dropped in red cinnamon candies by mistake. Another theory, recorded by historian Joe Nickell in his book Secrets of the Sideshows, is that Pete Conklin first invented the drink in 1857 when he used water dyed pink from a horse rider's red tights to make his lemonade.
Frozen lemonade is made from crushed ice, lemons, and sugar.
Lemonade in American culture
Many children start lemonade stands in US and Canadian neighborhoods to make money in the summer months. The concept has become iconic of youthful summertime Americana to the degree that parodies and variations on the concept exist in many media. The computer game Lemonade Stand, created in 1979, simulates this business by letting players make various decisions surrounding a virtual stand. Some unlicensed lemonade stands have run afoul of health regulations.
Variations on this form of lemonade can be found in many countries. In India and Pakistan, where it is commonly known as limbu paani or nimbu paani, lemonade may also contain salt and/or ginger juice. Shikanjvi is a traditional lemonade from the India-Pakistan region and can also be flavored with saffron, garlic and cumin. In the Middle East, South Central Asia and elsewhere, rosewater is commonly used for flavouring lemonade. Extract of vanilla bean can also be used, alone or in combination with cherry syrup to add flavour to these beverages.
Lemonade in Ireland comes in three varieties, known as red, brown and white. Red lemonade is one of the most popular mixers used with spirits in Ireland, particularly in whiskey. Major brands of red lemonade include TK (formerly Taylor Keith), Country Spring, Finches and Nash's. Other brands include Maine, Yacht and C&C (Cantrell & Cochrane). The most common brands of brown lemonade in Northern Ireland are Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C) and Maine. C&C label this as "Witches Brew" in the weeks around Halloween. There was an urban myth that European Union authorities had banned red lemonade but the truth was simply that they had banned a cancer-causing dye.
In Australia and New Zealand, lemonade usually refers to the clear, carbonated soft drink that other countries identify as having a lemon flavor, such as Sprite. This standard, clear lemonade can be referred to as 'plain' lemonade and other colored (and flavored) soft drinks are sometimes referred to by their color such as "red lemonade" or "green lemonade".
In France, "citronade" is used to refer to American-style lemonade. "Limonade" refers to carbonated, lemon-flavoured, clear soft drinks. Sprite and 7 Up are sometimes also called lemonade. Pink lemonade made with limonade is called "diabolo". Limonade and grenadine is called a "diabolo-grenadine" and limonade with peppermint syrup a "diabolo-menthe". Limonade is also widely used to make beer cocktails such as "panaché" (half beer, half limonade) or "monaco" (panaché with added grenadine syrup).
Limonana, a type of lemonade made from freshly-squeezed lemon juice and mint leaves, is a widely popular summer drink in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Limonana was created in the early 1990s in Israel after an advertising agency promoted the then-fictitious product to prove the efficacy of advertising on public buses. The campaign generated so much consumer demand that the drink began to be produced for real by restaurateurs and manufacturers, and became very popular.
In Latvia and other countries nearby, a soft drink called Limonade is sold which is like the French Lemonade, with a soft yellow tint (like lemonade) but is pear flavored.
Daily consumption of 120 ml (4 imp fl oz; 4 US fl oz) of lemon juice per day, when mixed with two liters of water, has been shown to reduce the rate of stone formation in people susceptible to kidney stones. Lemons contain the highest concentration of citric acid of any fruit, and this weak acid has been shown to inhibit stone formation.
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- Of the Street Sale of Ginger-Beer, Sherbet, Lemonade,&C., from London Labour and the London Poor, Volume 1, Henry Mayhew, 1851; subsequent pages cover the costs and income of street lemonade sellers.