make your own: blender lemonade.

July 6, 2015

blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves I’ve had a revelation this summer and that revelation is that the easiest, tastiest, frothiest lemonade can be made by plunking an entire lemon into your blender.

Behold.

New York Magazine ran a piece in their June issue. And Grub Street reprinted it here.

Here’s the idea: that a single lemon smashed to smithereens can get you all of the lemony goodness that many more lemons than that could, juiced. So instead of juicing a bag full of ten lemons, all you need is to pop one into the blender with ice cubes, water, and a little bit of sugar. Lemonade magic.

Here are a few shots for reference and complete recipe down below. Also v. good with the addition of a few frozen strawberries.
blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves To avoid imbibing too many nasties, start with an organic lemon that’s been well-scrubbed.
blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves Start by quartering the lemon.blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves The pith of the lemon—the thick white stuff—is notoriously bitter. Use a sharp knife to cut off a bit of the pith from the ends of your lemon slices so that it doesn’t overwhelm your concoction.
blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves The first time I made this, I used way too many ice cubes and ended up with something closer to a granita. Still delicious, but not quite lemonade. Four cubes seems like the best number for me.blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves Fill up the blender with approximately 2 cups of water and a few tablespoons of sugar (I personally think this needs at least 3 tablespoons to be palatable, but I might just have an impossible sweet tooth.)
blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves Blend for a full minute. Not twenty seconds. Sixty. If you don’t blend for long enough the result can be a little gritty.
blender lemonade | reading my tea leaves Garnish with fresh mint, a lemon wheel, a strawberry, or positively nothing at all. Serve immediately.

Blender Lemonade

What you need:
1 whole lemon, scrubbed within an inch of its life
~ 2 cups of very cold water
~ 4 ice cubes
~3 tablespoons sugar

What you need to do:
Quarter your lemon. Remove the seeds and the thickest part of the pith from each lemon slice. Add to the blender with several ice cubes, approximately two cups of cold water (preferably chilled), and a few tablespoons of sugar. (Honey or agave would work, too.) Blend for a full minute until the mixture is frothy. Pour over ice to serve. The lemonade will be cloudy pale yellow in color and very delicious. Serve immediately.

Needing something else a little sweet and sour? Rhubarb syrup to the rescue.

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30 Comments

  • Reply Lisa-Marie July 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Well. I'll be making this tonight! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply Kristina July 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    This is amazing! I had no idea the rind was eatable except for tiny pieces of it in a cake or dessert. Definitely need to try this 🙂

  • Reply Amy @ The American-Made Guide to Life July 6, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Wow. This seems so obvious now. Love this idea, especially since I don't have a proper juicer.

  • Reply Amanda July 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Plunk! Smithereens!

  • Reply Christine July 6, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    SO TRYING THIS. Thanks for the tip–and pretty photos!

  • Reply Trish Austin July 7, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Yum. This is really good. It also makes a fabulous Arnold Palmer with my famous ice tea!

  • Reply infusionfibers July 7, 2015 at 2:22 am

    Great idea! I love finding ways to use the peel of lemons. Sounds amazing.

  • Reply Diana July 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    I'm totally going to try this!

  • Reply ~Heather July 7, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    This is the perfect way to use up our extra lemons before we head out for vacation tomorrow. I had to strain out the bigger bits (perhaps my blender isn't mighty enough), but truly delicious!

  • Reply Suzie Ridler July 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    You don't have to sieve it? Doesn't the pith in the skin make it bitter?!

    • Reply Erin July 10, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Nope and nope! If your blender isn't super powerful, you might decide to pass it through a sieve, but I didn't need to when I blended for a full minute. Going through the step of not including all of the pith helps with the bitterness. It's definitely a tart lemonade, but a delicious one.

    • Reply admin July 10, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Nope and nope! If your blender isn't super powerful, you might decide to pass it through a sieve, but I didn't need to when I blended for a full minute. Going through the step of not including all of the pith helps with the bitterness. It's definitely a tart lemonade, but a delicious one.

  • Reply Pat July 12, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I definitely have to try this AND I suspect the same technique would do well with limes (organic, of course).

  • Reply Anonymous July 12, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Very nice idea…..i limoni di Sorrento sono ok per questa ricetta !!!!

  • Reply elemengee August 26, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    and a shot of vodka couldn't hurt.

    • Reply admin August 27, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      never does 😉

  • Reply Anonymous August 27, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Is the rind edible? I mean I know the lemon zest is, but what about the white part?

    • Reply admin August 27, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      The white pith is edible, but it is bitter! Cutting off some of it helps cut down on the bitterness, but still adds all of the lemony punch!

  • Reply Jared Ko August 27, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Ah so much sugar. If I make this I'll probably substitute the sugar with agave nectar or honey!

    • Reply admin August 27, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      You should! Definitely!

  • Reply beginning blogger September 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I blended this for 2 minutes and chunks of lemon. I tried it in 2 blenders. May need a better quality lemon?

    • Reply admin September 2, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Oh, frustrating! I'd say it's more likely the blender! So sorry you didn't have good luck!

  • Reply Sherri October 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Hello Erin,
    At your leisure please tell me where you got your glassware. Thank you!

    • Reply Erin Boyle October 26, 2015 at 10:06 am

      These are Duralex picardie tumblers!

  • Reply lsb January 12, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    How do you have such pretty and clear ice cubes?

  • Reply Luigi May 16, 2016 at 11:41 am

    What about seeds? Most lemons I find have fairly large seeds. Do you get bits of seed to cause graininess or a “sandy” texture, even when blended?

    • Reply Erin Boyle May 16, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Definitely remove the seeds when you quarter the lemon!

  • Reply Lindsey Heringer August 19, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Ok so yesterday was the shrub…a bit too tart for me. Today I tried this recipe and it is soo good!

    • Reply Erin Boyle August 19, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Funny! So many people think the opposite! Glad you liked it!

  • Reply Charles July 15, 2017 at 12:54 am

    This sounds really refreshing! Have you tried substituting frozen fruit/berries for the ice cubes? I was thinking of frozen blueberries, in particular, since they’re small enough to blend well.

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