11 July 2023

When Life Gives You Lemons

Lizard has been telling me since he was diagnosed with Parkinson's that I got stuck with a lemon. I tell him, no, he's a peach, because he hails from Palisade peach country. He insists he's a lemon, to which I respond, "I've always loved lemonade!"

I've been having some serious hankerings for lemonade since our summer began getting hot. I noticed brands and flavor options new (to me) at the local grocery store, and I decided to do my own little taste test.

Minute Maid Zero Sugar was first. We'd hit 88 degrees for the first time in 2023, and I'd been working in the garden. I finished this bottle in about two hours. Although it was cold and refreshing, it made me want to not waste money on other bottled lemonades. It didn't really have that much of a lemon flavor at all.

Next came Florida's Natural Lemonade. I was glad I tried another brand because this one had a bit more flavor. Still didn't taste like fresh lemonade, but it didn't seem as bland as the Minute Maid. And, I could drink a whole bottle of this after working in the garden, and it won't show up on my hips.

I probably never would have given the Simply Light a second look had I not decided to try to compare flavors. I typically don't look for "light sugar" when purchasing beverages. I look for "no sugar." That said, I do buy Simply Orange with high pulp because it's the only high pulp orange juice I've been able to find for years. (Other than making my own freshly squeezed orange juice at home.) The Simply Light lemonade actually has more of a lemon taste than the previous two candidates in this comparison, but this one is a bit too sweet for my tastebuds. I don't know that I would guzzle it on a hot day because it has a bit too much sugar content for downing a whole bottle in one sitting. The Simply Limemade is not bad, but it has too much sugar to enable me to consume recklessly when I'm parched. Oh, and now they are offering a Simply Peach juice, too. Lizard and I will have to try that!

Our dairy offers Natalie's Lemonade, which, according to the official website, is made of three ingredients: water, pure cane sugar and lemons. They also offer a strawberry lemonade. I've tried both. They are okay. Now that I'm comparing lemonades, I might go ahead and get another Natalie's this week to give it another shot. I'm curious how I'll feel when actually comparing flavors. All I remember now, years later, is it wasn't as lemony as my own fresh-squeezed lemonade.

I've also enjoyed Wendy's blueberry pomegranate lemonade and Good Times' black cherry lemonade. Cafe Rio has great killer mango lemonade and mint limeade. Black Bear Diner and Black-eyed Pea both have to-die-for fresh lemonade, as well as in-season berry lemonades. The best to-go lemonade I've tasted from any fast food restaurant is Mad Greens', which also boasts three ingredients, lemon, water and pure cane sugar. I think this might be the best purchased lemonade I've tasted, other than the sit-down restaurants.

Yes, I'm a picky lemonade connoisseur. The best lemonade I've ever tasted is my own freshly squeezed. I think I'll go make a glass right now!


  1. I'm in with freshly made lemonade. It's the best and good for the liver. :-)

  2. Homemade fresh is definitely the best! This is reminding me that I haven't made any yet this summer. I like to slice the lemons thin and pour boiling water over, then serve over ice. It's especially good when frozen strawberries are added to the mix.


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