One of my husband’s friends from work has an amazing lemon tree that produces tons of mature, huge lemons. Our baby lemon trees cannot keep up with the volume that this mature tree produces. Luckily for us (and my crazy pregnancy citrus cravings), the owner of the lemon tree is very generous with the lemons and always sends some home with my husband for me. 🙂 One of my favorite things to do with all of the lemons is to make tons of homemade lemonade. I don’t like to use a lot of sugar when making lemonade, so I found a way to make it with just the tiniest bit of sugar.
I start with about 6 large lemons, and scrub them well to remove any dirt. This step is important since the lemon zest is an important part of the recipe. If you are using smaller lemons, you should increase the number of lemons that you use.
Start by peeling the zest off the washed lemons using a vegetable peeler. Be sure to just peel off the zest, avoiding the white pith which is bitter tasting.
You will need approximately two cups of peeled lemon zest. Put the strips of lemon zest in a small pan along with 6 cups of water, and 6-10 tablespoons of sugar (adjust according to how sweet or tart you want it – add more if you want it really sweet). Bring to a low boil and cook covered on a medium-low flame for approximately two hours. After enough time has passed, the water will be infused with the natural sweetness from the lemon zest, and the water will be tinted yellow. Once finished, allow the syrup mixture to cool to room temperature before using.
Juice the 6 lemons used above to use for the lemonade.
Once cooled, pour the lemon syrup mixture into a large canning jar. This will make several batches of lemonade, and can be stored in the fridge for a few months. To make the lemonade, mix together 1/2 cup of the lemon syrup, juice from the 6 lemons, and approximately 6 cups of cold water. You can add more or less syrup and water to adjust to your own personal taste preference. That’s it! It’s really easy, and uses only a minimal amount of sugar for each glass of lemonade!