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Lemonade—Savor the Last Sips of Summer

Here are fresh, new ways to enjoy this delicious quencher.

Drinking lemonade
Credit: Getty Images

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” 

I’ve heard that old chestnut countless times during the long pandemic, deployed in ways that range from helpful and empowering to eye-rolling and out-of-touch.

An authentically positive mindset realizes that not all lemons can be sweetened into the deliciousness that is lemonade. Grief, loss, financial struggle—these are not simple obstacles that need only to be stirred around and poured into chilled glasses of refreshment. 

All the same, lemonade stands firm as the ultimate metaphor of the transformative power of perspective. Taken in isolation, a lemon will leave you sucking your cheeks and pursing your lips. But combined with a simple pleasure like sweetened water, that same lemon has context, complexity and the potential to reorient our body temperatures and mood, sip by replenishing sip.

This summer’s sour moments—the persistent pandemic, extreme weather, worrying world headlines—can’t be erased with a recipe. But the season’s sweetnesses—travels, reunions with loved ones, steps back toward normalcy—can’t be discounted either. 

So as this Labor Day weekend brings summer to a close, perhaps there’s never been a better time to soak up and savor the last of the lemonade. Here are some new ways to refresh.

Diversify Your Sweeteners
Simple syrup—a mixture of equal parts sugar and water simmered on the stove until the sugar dissolves—is a mainstay of homemade lemonade. But sweetness comes in many forms, including natural sweeteners like honey or agave syrup. And the unmistakable delight of fresh fruit puree will also sweeten your glass and delight your eyes with bright, summery colors.

Make It Fruity
Watermelon, strawberry, blueberry, peach, mango—these summer fruits are refreshing foils for the tang of your lemons. Stir pureed fruit into your pitcher, either in all its pulpy glory or strained through a sieve to preserve its flavor and color.

Don’t Neglect Your Ice
It goes without saying that lemonade needs to be ice-cold. Storing a pitcher in the fridge, pouring it into frosted glasses and filling your glasses with freshly made ice cubes are time-tested chilling methods. You can elevate your ice even further by dropping a small lemon wedge into each section of an ice cube tray. A fresh mint leaf also makes a delicious ice-surprise. You can even freeze leftover lemonade into ice cubes to ensure that future batches are fully lemon-laced.

How does lemonade make your last sips of summer special?

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