This homemade lemonade recipe goes way back to 1984, when I was a lot younger and lived in Maryland. I first tasted this lemonade at the Joppatown Garden Club Swim Party. It was, and still is, the best lemonade I have ever tasted. It is definitely worth the time it takes to make it.
Start by cooking the sugar and water together for 5 minutes. You don’t need to bring it to a boil, just allow it to get hot enough to melt the sugar. Then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
While the syrup is cooling, juice 6 lemons and 2 oranges.
I have a green depression glass juicer that I found at a flea market years ago, and it is perfect for this job. If you don’t have a hand juicer, any form of extracting the juice will work.
My juicer holds 2 cups, and that is the amount of juice I ended up with. But that may vary depending on how juicy your lemons and oranges are. Don’t worry if you have seeds in the juice. They will come out later when everything is strained.
Add the juices to the cooled syrup mixture, along with the peel of one grated orange. Then add the mint leaves. Cover and let stand for one hour or longer.
Pour the liquid and leaves into a strainer. Allow the syrup to drain for a little while to collect all of the juice and yummy flavor. The juice syrup may be kept in a jar or any container with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to serve, mix half syrup with half water. Taste, and if too sweet, add a little more water or ice. For just myself, I make it one glass at a time. I fill my glass with ice, then half syrup, and finally fill the rest of the way with water. You may garnish with lemon slices or sprigs of fresh mint if you so desire.
This is the perfect refreshment for summer entertaining. I guarantee you will surprise your guests with this surprisingly refreshing drink.
I hope you give this lemonade a try. It is truly summer in a glass.
Mrs. Brown’s Mint Lemonade
- 2 cups sugar
- 2-1/2 cups water
- juice of 2 oranges
- juice of 6 lemons
- grated peel of 1 orange
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- Cook sugar and water for 5 minutes, and then cool.Juice the 2 oranges and 6 lemons.Grate the peel of one orange.Add fruit peel and juices to the sugar water, and then pour over the mint leaves. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.Strain the liquid into a jar or container, and then refrigerate until ready to use.Mix half syrup mixture and half water. Taste. If too sweet, add a little more water, and serve over ice.* To stretch this recipe, I have made a batch of Lemonade Kool-Aid as directed on the package. I then add a small amount of syrup for flavoring, and that minty zing.