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There's nothing quite as delightful as a long, slow sip of bracingly cold, sweet and tangy lemonade on a hot summer day. And as a mom of two school-aged kids, large batches of lemonade are a regular part of our meal prep. I've even shared how we use homemade lemonade to get both kids to drink more water.
I've tried a lot of lemonade recipes -- some easy, some complex -- but last summer I discovered the easiest method for making lemonade that also happens to be the most flavorful.
This lemonade recipe is proof that you don't need to spend 30 minutes juicing lemons to make a pitcher of lemonade. Instead, you'll quarter the lemons, place them in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, then "beat" the juice out of the lemons. While it may seem odd, this technique draws out the lemon rind's essential oils, making for an intensely lemony juice.
There's no need to make simple syrup, because no one wants to stand over the stovetop in July or August. Instead, the sugar is dissolved almost entirely by the acidity of the lemons. I've taken to using slightly less sugar -- 3/4 cup compared to 1 cup -- and find that to be the perfect sweetness for our tastes. I'll also occasionally incorporate other citrus fruits, berries and even cubed watermelon into the juicing step for different flavors and colors of lemonade.
The best thing about this lemonade is drinking it ice cold on a hot day. Thanks to the lemon-squeezing technique, it has a bright citrus flavor I've never had in another lemonade.
Makes 2 quarts
8 to 10 large lemons
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 quarts water (6 cups)
Lemon slices, for serving (optional)
1. Halve the lemons, then squeeze the juice from the halves -- you can do this manually with your favorite juicer or reamer. My favorite alternative method: Quarter the lemons and use the stand mixer to juice all of the lemons at once. Place the quartered lemons in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, then beat on low speed for 2 minutes. With either method, strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup or bowl to remove the pulp before making the lemonade. You need 1 cup of strained lemon juice.
2. Add the sugar to the strained lemon juice, and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved.
3. Transfer the lemonade base to a serving pitcher. Add the water and stir to combine. Chill the lemonade for at least 1 hour before serving.
4. Serve the lemonade over ice with lemon slices if desired.
Recipe notes: The lemonade can be refrigerated for up to four days.
This article is written by Meghan Splawn from The Kitchn and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.