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For a lemonade recipe full of lemon flavor, balanced by just the right amount of sugar, we mashed sliced lemons with sugar until a syrup was produced (thereby releasing all of the citrus oils in the zest and fully dissolving the sugar). We then combined the lemon mixture with the correct amount of water to produce lemonade with authentic homemade flavor.
- 10 - 12 medium lemons, scrubbed well, halved pole to pole, all halves sliced thin
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- pinch table salt (optional)
- 5 cups water (cold)
- Mash lemons and sugar (and salt, if using) in large, deep bowl or saucepan with potato masher or wooden spoon until lemon slices give up their juice, sugar is dissolved, and juice is thickened to syrup consistency, about 4 minutes. Pour half the lemon slices and syrup through large sieve over bowl or saucepan; press on solids with masher or back of wooden spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Discard solids; transfer liquid to serving pitcher. Repeat process with remaining lemon slices. Stir in water until blended. Chill well and stir to blend before serving, over ice if desired.
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