Missing That Old-Timey State Fair Lemonade? Make It at Home

Freshly made lemonade in mason jars with striped straws.

Old-fashioned lemonade has a certain punch that simply can’t be replicated unless it’s made using suitably old-timey preparation methods. Whether you miss the lemonade from the state fair, or want to experience it for the first time, we’ve got just the recipe!

The secret sauce in this old-school recipe isn’t sauce at all, but oil. Most lemonade recipes simply direct you to juice the lemons and mix it in with sufficient sugar and water. But if you’re a fan of all things lemony, you know the juice is only part of the flavor profile. The oils in the rind are a powerhouse unto themselves.

That’s what makes this particular recipe special. You peel off the zest with a vegetable peeler, mix it with sugar, and then let it sit for anywhere from 2-12 hours. Then, you boil the sugar-lemon-zest mixture to extract maximum lemon goodness. Check out the video below to watch the process from start to finish.

Lemonade isn’t the only deliciousness you can extract from lemons. You can also make salt-preserved lemons—a flavor-packed condiment—right at home.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at LifeSavvy, Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »

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