I’ll Drink to That: Lemon Edition

The last time I saw an old-fashioned lemonade stand was actually just a couple months back during the local Parade of Homes. An enterprising youngster in one of the more developed neighborhoods was selling bottles of water as well as lemonade to thirsty parade-goers.

jvanderbeek_summerlemontipples

Lemonade is one of those perfect hot-weather drinks, doing well on it’s own whether left sweet and tart or combined with other fruits (strawberry, for instance) or even herbs (rosemary and basil both go very well in lemonade). Mix it with iced tea and you have an Arnold Palmer, and if the tea is Earl Grey then you can have your own version of the Earl of Sandwich’s Earl Grey Lemonade. And if you mix lemonade with beer, you end up with something called a Shandy.

Shandy is a bit of a thing these days and my friends farther to the north tell me Del’s is the brand to drink. I came across the Leinenkugel Summer Shandy first, though, and decided to give it a try. Now, the first time I tried it I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I didn’t hate it, either. I suppose it was a disconnect since I didn’t know what to expect and whatever I did expect this wasn’t it. The second time I tried it, that puzzling first taste over with, I actually enjoyed it more.

Now, considering it’s been three weeks and I haven’t finished the 6-pack, you can probably guess it’s not my favorite beverage ever, but then beer isn’t at the top of my spirits list anyway, so I suppose it’s following along with that.

Speaking of lemonade, though, I stumbled upon Pellegrino’s Limonata the other week while shopping and I thought it was more like the slightly-flavored fizzy water like the Perrier versions, so picked up a 6-pack for something a little different. Obviously I didn’t pay too much attention to the label as this is actually a sparkling lemonade and I’m in love. There was a grapefruit version next to it and I’m sure that’ll be among the next grocery run, but for now I’m rationing out the Limonata so I don’t over-indulge.

Of course, for true indulgence, I go straight to the freezer to pull out a bottle of limoncello. When we were at Disney for our honeymoon I didn’t do much day-drinking though the thought was there. One of our last afternoons, though, I purchased a limoncello from the cart in EPCOT’s Italy pavilion and it so refreshing. Having made my own limoncello I think I appreciate it a tiny bit more that I used to, but since I don’t usually have a surfeit of lemons, I’ll leave it to the masters once our homebrew batch is expended. (Unless we decide to plant a lemon tree, here–that might change things a bit!)

What about you–are you a fan of lemon in the heat of summer? Do you like yours sweet over ice, mixed with something else, or as far away as possible?

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