Kid-powered lemonade stands that serve old-fashioned lemonade – the kind that requires a bit of elbow grease because it is squeezed from fat, juicy lemons – are a dying breed.
Powdered and bottled lemonades with artificial sweeteners and colors dominate the market. There is a breed of pink-fleshed lemons, but their flesh – not their juice – is rosy. Sometimes cranberry, pomegranate, grapefruit or raspberry juices are used for coloring. But stories about the invention of pink lemonade in the mid-1800s tend to leave a bad taste.
One often-repeated tale is that cinnamon red hots were accidentally dropped into a pitcher at a carnival concession stand. Another says pink lemonade was invented by a circus concessionaire who ran out of water and used the dregs left in a wash-tub dyed pink by a horse rider’s red tights. Or, in some versions, a red blanket.
The blog Mental Floss adds a more plausible modern-day source of the pink in lemonade: red dye No. 40. Concerns about additives and preservatives are certainly valid, but I also worry that these “ades” seldom contain pulp or taste the least bit acidic.
The Kansas City Star’s sparkling strawberry lemonade is an effervescent twist on straight-up old-fashioned lemonade, but it comes by its rosy color naturally: Simply add a few strawberries for flavor, color and garnish.
The sparkling water makes it a better thirst quencher than sodas. There are 100 calories in 1 cup of lemonade.
▪ The lemonade will separate upon standing. Stir to combine and serve.
▪ For an adult-only libation, try adding a shot of rum or vodka.
Sparkling strawberry lemonade
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 cups halved strawberries (cut strawberries in half before measuring)
Two 11.5-ounce bottles sparkling mineral water
In a saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat; allow to cool.
Add water mixture, lemon juice and strawberries to a blender. Cover; process until smooth. Pour into a large serving pitcher and add sparkling mineral water. Stir well. Allow to stand for 10 minutes for foam to subside. Place ice cubes in serving glasses; pour lemonade over ice. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Per serving, based on 6: 100 calories (none from fat), 0 fat, 0 chol., 24 g carb., 1 g protein, 4 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.