There’s no better way to make people feel festive and think they’re at a party, than to serve pink lemonade. Lemonade of any kind is a refreshing, zesty treat, but pink lemonade makes any occasion that much more special!
If you are like most people, you probably enjoy this cool drink on a lazy summer day without giving much thought as to where it came from. Actually, the history of pink lemonade is rather fascinating. The yellow form of the drink dates back to Egyptian times where honey was used as a sweetener. Native Americans eventually concocted a drink using maple sugar and adding some red sumac for color.
But the history of modern pink lemonade is surrounded by controversy. Some attribute the invention to a circus worker named Henry Allott, sometime in the mid-1800’s. Apparently he was mixing up a batch of yellow lemonade, when he accidentally dropped in a few red cinnamon candies. The drink was such a hit with the customers, that he continued to produce it.
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Others give the credit to Pete Conklin, a New Jersey circus man who ran his own concession stand. He supposedly used water in which a bareback circus rider’s red tights had been laundered! Well, what the customer doesn’t know, won’t hurt him! Ugh! Pete capitalized on the enthusiasm of his customers for the pink drink and pedaled it as strawberry lemonade.
Some have conjectured that pink lemonade comes from pink lemons. There actually are some that are pink, known as Eureka lemons. The internal flesh of these lemons is pink-tinged, but they do not produce pink lemonade.
Over the years, a variety of substances have been added to water, sugar and lemon juice to produce the pink color. Some of those are grenadine, crushed strawberries, grape, cherry or cranberry juice, and food coloring.
Of course, pink lemonade today can easily be purchased at the grocery store ready-made in cartons, or as a dry powdered mix. It also comes frozen, in a can. The last two kinds only require you to add water and stir. But since it is so easy to make, and tastes so much better and fresher, why not make it yourself? This easy recipe is a real winner!
Play this fun lemonade stand game while you are drinking this pink lemonade!
Pink Lemonade Recipe
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 8 medium lemons)
- 1 cup superfine white sugar
- ⅔ cup cranberry juice
- 6 cups water
- Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher
- Stir well to dissolve sugar
- Serve over ice in tall glasses with a sprig of mint or a lemon slice