During the dog days of summer, nothing is more refreshing than a cold glass of sweet and tart lemonade. To make lemonade, however, lemon juice concentrate is required to avoid an afternoon of squeezing bags of lemons and a sore arm from making lemonade from fresh lemon juice. Using a lemon concentrate recipe calls for significantly less work. Work ahead to keep plenty of homemade lemon juice concentrate on hand to make pitchers of ice lemonade or to incorporate into lemon curd and lemon baked goods.
Lemon Concentrate Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 6 cups concentrate
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 cups fresh lemon juice (about 20 medium lemons, squeezed)
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest (about three medium lemons)
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves.
- Remove the simple syrup from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- While the simple syrup is cooling, squeeze roughly 20 medium lemons to yield 3 cups fresh lemon juice.
- Use a fine-toothed grater to zest three lemons directly into the fresh lemon juice.
- Strain the freshly squeezed lemon juice to remove any large pieces of zest, seeds or pulp that may have escaped into the juice when squeezing and adding the lemon zest into the juice.
- Pour the lemon juice and the simple syrup into a self-sealing container such as a glass jar or a plastic quart container.
- Store in the fridge for up to one month or freeze for up to six months.
The lemon zest will really enhance the lemon flavor of this lemon juice concentrate without compromising the texture because the strainer catches any pieces that are too large to keep in the juice. This lemon concentrate recipe is simple and easy for quick assembly and a long shelf life. Other concentrate recipes call for adding more water to form almost a lemonade, which also results in more volume. Making and storing a simplified lemon juice concentrate allows you to mix up a fresh glass of lemonade anytime you please without the trouble of making it with fresh lemon juice each time.
How to Make Frozen Lemonade From Lemon Juice
Total Time: 5 minutes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 4 cups lemonade
- 2 cups lemon concentrate
- 2 cups water
- 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- 1 lemon, sliced (optional)
- In a chilled pitcher, combine the lemon concentrate and the water.
- Use a long-handled wooden spoon to thoroughly combine the liquids.
- Taste to determine if more sugar should be added. If so, stir in sugar until dissolved.
- Pour the prepared lemonade into a large blender with one to two cups of ice.
- Blend on high until all the ice is crushed and finely combined into the lemonade.
- Add another cup of ice and blend again until smooth, without large ice chunks.
- Pour the frozen lemonade into four tall glasses filled with ice and garnish with lemon slices.
- Serve ice-cold for a refreshing drink.
For an added twist, spike the frozen lemonade with vodka and the juice of half a lime for a hard lemonade spin with an extra-sour kick. The lime adds brightness and a fresh note to the pre-made lemon juice concentrate. Apart from the liquor, this frozen treat will elevate your lemonade recipe and serve as a deliciously cold drink to cool you off during the dog days of summer.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.