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Glass of cloudy lemonade, typical in the US

Lemonade can be any variety of sweetened or unsweetened beverages found throughout the world, which are traditionally all characterized by a lemon flavor.[1]

Most lemonade varieties can be separated into two distinct types: cloudy and clear; each is known simply as "lemonade" (or a cognate) in countries where dominant.[2] Cloudy lemonade, generally found in North America and South Asia, is traditionally a homemade drink using lemon juice, water, and a sweetener such as cane sugar or honey.[3] In the United Kingdom and Australia, clear lemonade, which is typically also carbonated, dominates.[2]

A popular cloudy variation is pink lemonade, made with added fruit flavors such as raspberry or strawberry, giving the drink its distinctive pink color.[4]

The suffix "-ade" may also be applied to other similar drinks made with different fruits, such as limeade, orangeade, or cherryade.[5]

Alcoholic varieties are known as hard lemonade.

In some countries, the name "lemonade" is also used for other, non-lemon flavored drinks (carbonated or not), such as the German "Orangenlimonade".[6]


As lemons and sugarcane are native to India, the Indians first consumed a type of lemonade called nimbu pani.[7]

British Formula One motor racing driver Jackie Stewart drinking carbonated lemonade in 1969
Children operating a lemonade stand in La Cañada Flintridge, California, 1960

The earliest written evidence of lemonade has been found in Egypt, dated to around AD 1000. It is believed that the fruit was introduced from Asia around AD 700.[8] Here, a drink made with lemons, dates, and honey was enjoyed by peasants, and bottles of lemon juice with sugar, known as qatarmizat were imported and consumed locally.[9]

In 1676, a company known as Compagnie de Limonadiers was founded in Paris.[10] Having been granted monopoly rights to sell lemonade, vendors roamed the streets serving the drink in cups from tanks on their backs.

While carbonated water had been invented by Joseph Priestley in 1767, the first reference found to carbonated lemonade was in 1833 where the drink was widely available in British refreshment stalls.[11] R. White's Lemonade, which is now produced and sold by Britvic, has been sold in the UK since 1845.[12]


Cloudy lemonade[edit]

The predominant form of lemonade found in the US, Canada, and India, cloudy lemonade, also known as traditional or old fashioned lemonade in the UK and Australia, is typically non-carbonated and made with fresh lemon juice; however commercially produced varieties are also available. Generally served cold, cloudy lemonade may also be served hot as a remedy for congestion and sore throats,[13] frozen, or used as a mixer.

Traditionally, it is common for children in US and Canadian neighborhoods to start lemonade stands to make money during the summer months. The concept has become iconic of youthful summertime Americana to the degree that parodies and variations on the concept exist across media. References can be found in comics and cartoons such as Peanuts, and the 1979 computer game Lemonade Stand. Recently, the subject has attracted controversy, as some unlicensed lemonade stands have been shut down due to health regulations.[14]

Pink lemonade[edit]

A popular variation of cloudy lemonade, pink lemonade, which – true to its name – has a distinctive pink color, is created by adding additional fruit juices, flavors, or food coloring to the recipe. Possible additions may include watermelon,[15][16] peach,[17][18] currant,[19] raspberries, strawberries, cherries, red grapefruit, grapes, cranberries, grenadine,[4] or the fruit of the staghorn sumac.[20] The invention of pink lemonade was credited to Henry E. "Sanchez" Allott in his obituary in The New York Times, saying he had dropped in red cinnamon candies by mistake.[21] Another theory, recorded by Joe Nickell in his book Secrets of the Sideshows, is that the drink was first invented in 1857 by Pete Conklin, when he made lemonade using water dyed pink from a horse rider's red tights.[22]

The popularity of pink lemonade may be due to its having a relaxing color that is not very saturated but relatively bright, in contrast to the relative colorlessness of traditional lemonade.[19]

A number of hard pink lemonades exist, such as a strawberry gin lemonade made from gin, strawberry puree, strawberry juice, lemonade, and sliced strawberries and lemons for garnish.[23]

Clear lemonade[edit]

The predominant form of lemonade in the UK and Australia is a clear, lemon-flavoured carbonated beverage. Schweppes and R. White's Lemonade are common brands, and shops usually carry a store branded lemonade as well.[12] Schweppes uses a blend of lemon and lime oils.[24] Other fizzy drinks (or pop) which are both lemon and lime flavoured may also sometimes be referred to as lemonade, such as Sprite and 7 up. There are also speciality flavours, such as Fentimans Rose Lemonade, which is sold in the UK, the US, and Canada. Shandy, a mixture of beer and clear lemonade, is often sold pre-bottled, or ordered in pubs.

Other varieties[edit]

In India and Pakistan, where it is commonly known as limbu paani or nimbu paani, and in Bangladesh, lemonades may also contain salt and/or ginger juice. Shikanjvi is a traditional lemonade from this region, and can also be flavored with saffron, cumin and other spices.[25][26][27]

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.[28] 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 restaurateurs and manufacturers began really producing the drink, which would become very popular.[29][30] In Northern Africa, a drink called cherbat is made of lemon, mint, and rose water.

Switcha is a version of the drink made in the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos that can also be made with limes instead of lemons.

Citron pressé[edit]

The French soft drink citron pressé, being diluted with water

In France, it is common for restaurants to offer citron pressé, an unmixed version of lemonade in which the customer is given lemon juice, syrup and water separately to be mixed in their preferred proportions.[31]


Limeade is a variation of lemonade, replacing lemon juice or flavoring with lime. Like lemonade, both cloudy and clear varieties exist. It is especially popular in nations where limes are common, such as Guyana and Trinidad, as well as India, Pakistan, Thailand and throughout South-East Asia. A Thai-styled limeade tastes salty, and sometimes does not have any sugar.[32]

Most major beverage companies now offer their own brand of limeade, such as A.G. Barr of Glasgow and Newman's Own since 2004, with Minute Maid introducing a Cherry Limeade drink in response to the popularity of Limeade.[33] Sonic Drive-In also offers a cherry limeade.[34]

Health benefits[edit]

Like other citrus-fruit based products, lemonade has been promoted as healthful due to its high concentration of vitamin C. However, the drink's health benefits will be highly limited in many diets due to its very high sugar content. Adding zest to lemonade may help reduce the sugar content by making it taste sweeter (due to the flavanone compounds).[35]

Daily consumption of 120 ml (4 imp fl oz; 4 US fl oz) of lemon juice per day, when mixed with two litres 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.[36]

In popular culture[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "LEMONADE - meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". dictionary.cambridge.org.
  2. ^ a b Muir, Alana. An American Guide to Britishness. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-4717-8546-7.
  3. ^ "History of Lemonade". Buzzle. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "An Easy to Prepare Old Fashioned Southern Beverage Favorite". Soulfoodandsoutherncooking.com. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  5. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (October 28, 2013). Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-61069-233-5.
  6. ^ "dict.cc dictionary :: Orangenlimonade :: German-English translation". www.dict.cc.
  7. ^ "Nimbu Pani". Oxford Dictionaries.
  8. ^ "The History of Lemonade". www.frontiercoop.com. Archived from the original on December 27, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Did You Know: Food History – History of Lemonade". www.cliffordawright.com. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Victoria Advocate – Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  11. ^ Emmins, Colin (1991). SOFT DRINKS – Their origins and history (PDF). Great Britain: Shire Publications Ltd. p. 8 and 11. ISBN 0 7478 0125 8.
  12. ^ a b "Chester homeless charity teams up with lemonade brand". Chester Chronicle. October 8, 2017.
  13. ^ "Is Lemonade Good for Sick People to Drink While They Have the Flu?". LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  14. ^ Jung, Helen (August 4, 2010), Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate, OregonLive
  15. ^ "Watermelon Pink Lemonade Cooler -Celebrate Summer and Stay Cool with Icy Pink Cooler Drink!". Ginger It Up. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  16. ^ By halfbakedharvest (May 27, 2014). "Pink Watermelon Lemonade Slushies". Half Baked Harvest. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  17. ^ "Peach Strawberry Lemonade Recipe (with less sugar)". theforkedspoon.com. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  18. ^ Can, Divas. "Fresh Peach Lemonade Recipe : Easy, Homemade". Divascancook.com. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "The Unusual Origins of Pink Lemonade | History | Smithsonian". Smithsonianmag.com. August 16, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  20. ^ Lee Allen Peterson, Edible Wild Plants, (New York City: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977), p. 186.
  21. ^ "Inventor of pink lemonade dead" (PDF). New York Times. September 18, 1912. p. 11. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  22. ^ "What is Pink Lemonade". Chowhound.com. October 30, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  23. ^ "Strawberry Gin Lemonade". how sweet eats. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  24. ^ Product description
  25. ^ Jiggs Kalra, Pushpesh Pant, Classic cooking of Punjab, Allied Publishers, 2004, ISBN 978-81-7764-566-8
  26. ^ Julie Sahni, Indian regional classics: fast, fresh, and healthy home cooking, Ten Speed Press, 2001, ISBN 1-58008-345-5, 9781580083454, "... Ginger Limeade (Shikanji) ..."
  27. ^ Mint lemonade / pudina shikanji / pudina nimbu paani / masala lemonade. Indian Recipe Secrets. June 16, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "Limonana: Not your average lemonade". Zomppa. August 29, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  29. ^ Martinelli, Katherine (July 11, 2011). "Limonana: Sparkling Summer". Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  30. ^ Siegal, Lilach (May 29, 2001). לימונענע וירטואלית [Virtual Limonana]. The Marker (in Hebrew). Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  31. ^ Rough Guides Snapshot (April 12, 2012). Poitou-Charentes and the Atlantic Coast Rough Guides Snapshot France (includes Poitiers, La Rochelle, Île de Ré, Cognac, Bordeaux and the wineries). Rough Guides Limited. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-4093-6293-7.
  32. ^ Jordan, Michele Anna (October 11, 2011). California Home Cooking: 400 Recipes that Celebrate the Abundance of Farm and Garden, Orchard and Vineyard, Land and Sea. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 1-55832-597-2.
  33. ^ "Minute Maid Cherry Limeade" (PDF).
  34. ^ Todd Wilbur (January 29, 2002). Top Secret Recipes--Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits, & Shakes: Creating Cool Kitchen Clones of America's Favorite Brand-Name Drinks. Penguin Group US. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-101-11867-2.
  35. ^ "Low-Sugar Lemonade That's Just as Sweet". Cook's Illustrated. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  36. ^ "Five Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones" (Press release). UC San Diego. April 22, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  37. ^ "Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard (1922) – Volume 5 – The Elect : Elbert Hubbard : Free Download & Streaming". Internet Archive. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  38. ^ Caulfield, Keith (May 1, 2016). "Beyonce Earns Sixth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Lemonade'". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  39. ^ "It's official: Lemonade is Arizona's state drink", ktar.com, May 13, 2019, retrieved May 14, 2019

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