Summer is clearly on the way. And one of the best thirst-quenching treats of summer is lemonade. Nothing beats lemonade from freshly squeezed lemons. But if you’re like me – well, frankly, that’s a lot of work! And luckily for all of us, there are plenty of brands of pre-made lemonade and mixes to choose from.

But whether you make your own freshly squeezed lemonade or buy your favorite already made, here are some ideas to put a new spin on one of our favorite summer drinks.

– STRAWBERRY LEMONADE: chill a pitcher of lemonade and add mashed and whole strawberries. For 1 quart lemonade, use 5 or 6 strawberries – add more for more of a strawberry flavor. Let the lemonade chill for a few hours for the flavors to draw together.

– GREEN TEA LEMONADE: Add lemonade to your iced green tea. Try 1/3 lemonade to 2/3 green tea, but you can mix to your own liking. Chill several hours for flavors to draw together.

– PEACH-LEMONADE GREEN TEA: Add some mashed peaches and slices into a pitcher of iced green tea, add a few splashes of lemonade. Try 1 peach for a quart or add more for a more peachy flavor. Let lemonade chill for a few hours for the flavors to draw together.

If you simmer/steep your own Green Tea Bags for your iced green tea, add the mashed peaches to the simmering/steeping tea bags, then add the peach slices when you chill the tea.

– MINT LEMONADE: Add 2 or 3 fresh mint leaves (such as mojito mint, spearmint or peppermint) to your glass for a hint of refreshing mint. TIP: Bruising the mint leaves will bring out more flavor.

– LEMONADE ICE CUBES: Freeze ice-cube trays with lemonade and/or freeze lemonade AND mint leaves together and add the ice-cubes to your favorite iced-tea or summer cocktails.

– LEMONADE GARNISH: Spear a Maraschino cherry and fresh lemon and/or lime slice for a perfect finish to your lemonade.

ECO-FRIENDLY TIP: Lemonade is always best thoroughly chilled and sipped through a straw. If you haven’t already ditched the plastic straws, there’s an abundance of bio-degradable paper straws available at retailers and even online. BONUS: these paper straws come in all sizes and colors and are reasonably priced. They are sure to add a festive flair to any drink. Amazon also carries a very wide selection.

Find a variety of lemonade choices in your supermarket: refrigerated lemonade, frozen lemonade and powder lemonade. If you don’t want to squeeze your own, find your favorite and do some lemonade experimenting!

MY PERSONAL LEMONADE PICK: Trader Joe’s Organic Lemonade (2 qt. Container, non-refrigerated). No mixing, ready to chill and pour. They also have an excellent Pink Lemonade (2 qt. Container). It’s not too sweet, yet not too tart.



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