An ode to the smooth-drinking bourbon cocktail.
'lemonade' on Serious Eats
Some people—normal people—crave sweets. It's evolutionary. You'd seek out high-sugar foods in the wild, or you'd die of starvation. Me? I wouldn't have lasted a month. I crave umami. Salt. Tang. There's definitely something wrong with me. If you want a tangy smoothie—pleasantly sweet, sure, but also nice and brisk—sometimes it pays to just go ahead and invent one. So I did.
When the hot summer days roll around, we've got one thing on our minds when it comes to drinks: fresh lemonade. If store-bought is your thing (and frankly, on hot, lazy, summer days, a good fresh store-bought lemonade made from real lemons can be a life saver), then check out our Guide to the Best Ready-To-Drink Lemonade. But if you've got a good juicer and 15 minutes, adding a bit of elbow grease to making your own fresh homemade lemonade will make it taste all the sweeter.
Nothing says refreshing like a cool glass of lemonade, especially when it's made from scratch. And with strawberry season at hand, we recommend that you incorporate those sweet red gems into your lemonade, too.
The Dutch offers two non-alcoholic drinks on their menu, a blessing for those who don't feel like imbibing but still want something a little more special than a Diet Coke. There's the Soho Punch, which is a blend of tropical fruit juices with a touch of orgeat syrup for hauntingly sweet almond notes. But it's the fizzy Cucumber-Thyme Lemonade that I keep coming back for.
YanikiQ Cafe in Japantown gives the Arnold Palmer a cultural twist by replacing lemonade with yuzu juice. It has the tartness of a lemon with sweeter, fragrant overtones of orange and grapefruit. The resulting Yuzu Palmer ($4.25) is sweet, tart, and a nice little pick-me-up.
Oleo-saccharum is an ingredient in cocktails and punches that was relatively commonly used in 19th-century bartending as a way to provide an elegantly citrusy flavor and aroma to alcoholic beverages. It's also an excellent addition to lemonade, iced tea, and even vinaigrettes.
With fresh mint leaves and a potent infusion of ginger root, this lemonade ($3.50) from Earth Matters on the Lower East Side is equal parts refresher and tonic. It's more tart than sweet, the spicy heat of ginger creeping in slowly but ever so steadily, followed by the chill of mint.
Whether you're gardening in the summer sun or lounging by the pool, this is the time of year when a tall, cool glass of lemonade is essential. Yes, you can work up a sweat squeezing a dozen lemons, but it's easier to grab a carton from the grocery store. So we gathered a tasting team and 18 brands of ready-to-drink lemonade to find the best sweet-sour refreshment a few bucks can buy.
You don't necessarily think of Pret A Manger as being in the beverages business, but in addition to their grab-and-go-sandwiches, salads, and baked goods, there's a whole case of Pret-branded drinks, and on the whole, these sippables are refreshing and well-made. We grabbed all the interesting ones for a quick review.