Homemade Lemonade Concentrate for Colds and Flu

| 2/18/2016 12:05:00 PM

Winter is the season for citrus. Oranges, grapefruit, limes, and, of course, lemons are at the peak of ripeness this time of year. And that’s very fortunate during cold and flu season when we could benefit from extra doses of vitamin C in our diets.

When there’s an abundance of lemons and they’re affordable, it’s a great time to make up big batches of homemade concentrate to store in the freezer. It couldn’t be easier, and it’s a great way to have the means to mix up healthy beverages on demand. Since you’ll be mixing up your concentrate in variable quantities depending on how many lemons you decide to get, the recipe ratios for the concentrate are listed in “parts.” If you’re not familiar with this style of measurement, it’s easy to get the hang of. “Equal parts” of ingredients simply means you use the same quantity for each thing. For example “equal parts sugar and water” could mean one cup of sugar and one cup of water, or it could mean one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of water — it just depends on the unit of measure you choose. It’s a really flexible way to measure, and one that I prefer when working with basic recipes because it’s such an easy way to scale up or down.

fresh lemonade toddy
Photo by Fotolia.

How to Make Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

• One part freshly squeezed lemon juice (make sure you dry the zest and/or candy the peels to use in other recipes — minimize waste and maximize your dollar!)
• One part water
• One and half parts sugar

1. First, make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water together. Watch it carefully — you don’t want to make caramel, just heat it through until the sugar is just dissolved. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then add the lemon juice.

2. Once the concentrate is mixed, portion it for the freezer. I like to freeze it in jumbo muffin tins (half cup per portion) that way I can make as little or as much lemonade at a time as I like.