Lemons are a pricey commodity during the off season, sometimes averaging a dollar a lemon! When life gives you lemons at a good price, don't make lemonade, make a fresh lemon juice concentrate to get you through the rest of the year. Homemade concentrate will save you from the over-sweet, chemically enhanced, frozen juice concentrate available at your local grocery store, and will ensure that no matter what the season, a fresh glass of lemonade is available in minutes.
Juice about 15 fresh lemons, for a total measurement of 3 cups juice. Strain the juice through a sieve or strainer to remove any seeds or pulp strings that have fallen in. Set aside.
Boil 3 cups sugar with 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Make sure all of the sugar disappears (as when making jam or jelly). When the water/sugar mixture boils, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Combine the 3 cups lemon juice with the sugar syrup and mix well. When the mixture is cool to room temperature, divide into two or three freezer-safe plastic containers and freeze. You can store the frozen concentrate in the freezer for up to six months.
When ready to make lemonade, thaw the lemon concentrate in the fridge, on the counter, or in a water bath . Mix one container (if divided in two) with 3 cups water. If divided into three containers, mix one container with 2 cups water. Stir, pour over ice, and drink up.
Use frozen lemon concentrate for other recipes than lemonade, either in baking or cooking, as a mixer in a cocktail or as a syrup in a soda. Lemon is a versatile flavor and pairs nicely with most fruits and herbs. When making lemonade consider adding fresh or frozen fruit, or mix with other juices, teas, or herbs.
The same process works for concentrates of other citrus fruits, such as lime and pink grapefruit. Make multiple batches and experiment with mixes for a variety of flavors.