If you love quenching your thirst with an ice-cold glass of lemonade but aren't a fan of artificial powder mixes, then this hack is for you.
When your next lemonade craving strikes, instead of reaching for a glorified Kool-Aid packet, get an instant sip of summer by using pre-made, frozen lemon cubes to create your favorite drink. And this recipe isn't just easy to make, it's perfect for any number of servings, from single to several, or even a pitcher, if necessary.
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Check out how I made these gorgeous and refreshing drinks below.
All you need for a good old-fashioned lemonade are lemons and a sweetener, but I highly recommend adding herbs and fruits to enhance the flavor of your drink.
- sweetener: refined white sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown sugar
- herbs (optional): basil, rosemary, or lavender
- fruits (optional): raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, or rhubarb
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Wash, halve, and juice your lemons; a handheld or electric juicer does the job just fine. (2 lemons will fill a standard ice tray.) Then, add the juice to a small bowl.
If you want to stick to plain lemonade, skip this step.
Clean and cut your herbs, then add them to the bowl. If you've chosen to use fruit, dice up strawberries or muddle soft fruit like raspberries and blueberries, for example, then add these to the bowl.
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Stir in the sweetener of your choice and add the amount that you prefer. This is one of the best parts about making your own lemonade—being able to adjust its sweetness according to your own sweet tooth. If you're using fruits and herbs, you may find you need less sweetener (see my recipes below for more information).
Pour your lemon/fruit/sugar concentrate into ice cube trays, trying to keep the cubes as even as possible.
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Pop your tray into the freezer, then allow the lemon concentrate to freeze overnight.
When you check on your ice tray the next day, the tops of the cubes will appear glossy and slightly sticky to the touch from the sugar. To remove the cubes, insert a small kitchen knife along side each cube to gain leverage, then gently pop out the cubes.
You can either enjoy your drinks right away, or transfer the frozen lemonade concentrate into a freezer-safe plastic bag or airtight container for long-term storage.
The next time your lemonade craving strikes, retrieve your lemon cubes from the freezer, microwave for 30 seconds, and pour filtered water into the glass; I personally enjoy 2 cubes for every 8 ounces of water, but feel free to add more cubes or water to suit your personal tastes.
Then, top off with ice or other garnishes (if desired) and enjoy!
That covers the basics for how to make frozen lemon concentrate cubes. However, in the process of making this tutorial, I've created some delicious combinations that I encourage you to try. My favorite ones can be found below.
Each recipe creates 6 standard ice cubes (the ginger lemonade, however, only creates 5).
And if you're curious about the ratio I used: for every lemon juiced, I add one tablespoon of sweetener, one teaspoon of herbs, and one tablespoon of fruit. I should note that I enjoy a tart lemonade, but you might want to add more sugar or fruit, to taste.
Fresh blueberries, mint, and lemon make for an amazing combination.
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh or mashed blueberries
- 1 tsp. muddled mint leaves
- 1 Tbsp. refined white sugar or sweetener of choice
This classic lemonade pairs sweet and juicy strawberries with sour lemons.
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbsp. chopped strawberries
- 1 Tbsp. refined honey granules or sweetener of choice
The mellow flavor of rosemary is delightful paired with ginger.
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup or sweetener of choice
Note: Ginger is potent, so I added a small amount; this resulted in less overall volume for the concentrate. Therefore, this recipe will only yield about 4-5 lemon cubes.
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While I love lemonade as much as the next heat-parched person, I bet these cubes would be just as delicious when added to seltzer for a refreshing, fizzy drink. Or, instead of making standard mimosas, add these cubes to your champagne flutes and impress your brunch bunch.
So the next time you crave that sour-sweet punch of lemonade flavor, don't settle for the powdered stuff; these cubes will make fresh lemonade just as convenient!
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