Traditional Lemonade

Author: Canadian Living

This refreshing drink, based on a recipe from Mrs. Clarke's Cookery Book, published in Toronto in 1883, relies on every bit of juice and flavour from the lemon — including the peel.

  • Portion size 12 servings


  • 3 lemons
  • 1/2 lb sugar cube
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 12 mint (optional)


Rinse and dry lemons. In large bowl, rub each lemon vigorously with 1/3 of cubes, one at a time. As each cube absorbs oils from peel, turns yellow, softens and crumbles into bowl, change to another cube until all have been used and lemons glisten.

Remove lemons from bowl; halve and squeeze out juice. Pour juice onto sugar, stirring to blend together. Place lemon peel in large heat-proof container. Cover with boiling water; let cool and strain out peel, pressing to extract all the water.

Combine juice-sugar mixture with cooled water; cover and chill. This lemonade syrup can be kept in the refrigerator for weeks.

For the Victorian picnic, combine lemonade syrup with ice water or chilled soda water and ice cubes, using about twice as much water as syrup. If desired, add a little sugar to taste and place a sprig of mint in each glass.

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Traditional Lemonade