When life gives you lemons

You make lemonade. For the past week I’ve been tinkering with a lemonade recipe to suit my taste and I’m quickly getting addicted to it. It’s sugar free if you don’t count the natural sugars in citrus fruits too! For me this is a necessity as a diabetic, but feel free to use sugar instead.

Most recipes I come across make hideously sweet or sour lemonade. I’m not really a fan of the amount of sugar/sweetener used in them and often people end up using a large number of lemons. I hated all of these recipes. My lemonade is fairly light, and if too strong can be diluted with more water easily. It takes only 1 lemon for a liter jug of lemonade, which makes this much cheaper than store bought lemonade too.


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 mandarin orange (optional)
  • artificial sweetener (equivalent of 8-10 sugar cubes/teaspoons)
  • 3-4 cups / 0.75-1 liter water approximately

This will yield a 1 liter jug of lemonade, or 4 cups total. The amount of water depends on the amount of juice you get from the fruits. Use an appropriately sized jug for the amount of lemonade or adjust the ingredients according to your jug size.


  1. Grate the lemon coarsely to get the zest. Add the zest to 1 cup of water in a steel pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the sweetener to the hot water until dissolved. Set aside.
  3. Squeeze the lemon (and the optional mandarin if you use it). I use a sieve to filter the juice to remove any seeds that slipped through.
  4. Pour the juice into a jug with 1 cup of water.
  5. Take the zest water and use the sieve to filter the water to remove the zest.
  6. Combine the juice and zest water and fill the jug the rest of the way with water. Put in the fridge to chill. Serve cold!

This is my perfect lemonade. The mandarin helps tone down on the sourness of the lemon requiring less sweetener to be used. What’s your favorite lemonade recipe?


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