Why are we talking about lemons? Because it’s summertime, folks! A time for enjoying backyard barbecues accompanied by the sweet, succulent taste of homemade lemonade, perfectly paired with our vibrant Lemon Tree Linen Collection.
With it’s incredibly simple nature, you’d think that lemonade would be a pretty universal drink. Not so! Here in North America, as we know so well, lemonade is often a homemade drink made with lemons, water, and a little (or a lot) of sugar. There’s also pink lemonade, but we’ll talk about that later. However, in the UK, and a few other English speaking countries, lemonade commonly refers to a commercially produced, lemon flavored, carbonated, sweetened soft drink. In other words, its like our 7-Up and Sierra Mist. In India, lemonade may also contain salt, ginger juice, or other herbs and spices like saffron, garlic, and cumin. And then there’s hard lemonade, for those of you who like a little lemonade in their alcohol.
Lemonade has always been a big part of summer culture. Many restaurants, fairs, and festivals serve their own variation on the drink. It also used to be a common sight, seeing children manning lemonade stands in front of their houses, under the watchful eyes of their parents (I had one too!). Not anymore though, as those children are now making their lemonade stands in cyberspace.
However, every now and again, you’ll see a child with their own lemonade stand, and it’ll warm your heart with feelings of nostalgia. With so many different lemonade options, from pure lemons to lemon-lime, strawberry, and raspberry, one just feels tempted to try them all, as everyone has their own unique recipe. There’s a smorgasbord of flavors out there.
And now for pink lemonade. Pink lemonade never really made sense if you thought about it. Lemon juice is yellow; water and sugar should (hopefully) not add any color at all. So where does the pink come from, and where did it all start? I’ll tell you now, but you’re probably not going to like it.
There are two main stories. The first says that, in 1857, a man named Peter Conklin was selling lemonade at a circus. However, he ran out of water, and scrambled to find some so he could continue making lemonade. Seeing as how there were no nearby water sources, he ran around the tents until he came across one of the circus’s bareback horse riders, who had just finished washing her pink tights in a vat of water, leaving it with a deep pink hue. As the story goes, Conklin used the water without hesitation, and simply called it “fine strawberry lemonade;” he ended up selling more of this new drink than his old lemonade.
The second one is more palatable. Henry E. Allot, a circus promoter, saloon-keeper, and gambler, was making traditional yellow lemonade one day, when he accidentally dropped some red cinnamon candies into the mix. He ended up selling it anyway. It sold so well that he continued to make and dispense this new pink lemonade.
Fortunately for us, today pink lemonade is sometimes colored with raspberry juice, cranberry juice, or crushed strawberries, but is usually made with red food dye. It’s a far cry from the concoctions that Conklin and Allot made, and we can be thankful for that. It would be unacceptable otherwise.
Now that you know a little bit more about lemonade, where it comes from, and how it’s made, why don’t you try your hand at it. Grab some lemons, some water, and a little (or a lot) of sugar, and make some fine homemade lemonade for you and your family to enjoy. Then, come back and tell us how delicious it was! Or even better, share your lemonade recipes!