You Can Turn a Whole Lemon Into a Glass of Lemonade

You Can Turn a Whole Lemon Into a Glass of Lemonade

A pitcher of lemonade can serve a whole party, but a party of one deserves refreshment just as much as a crowd. As long as you have a single lemon, you can make a glass of lemonade. You don’t even have to peel the lemon.

You can, of course, make a single serving of everyone’s favourite summer beverage with lemon juice, but using the whole lemon — peel and all — gives the drink a slightly bitter and sophisticated edge, perfect for those of us who can’t abide syrupy sweet drinks. If you love a gin & tonic or are a fan of Campari spritzes, this is the lemonade for you. It’s sweet, but not cloying; it’s balanced, full of heady botanical notes, and infinitely chug-able. (Would a child like it? Probably not. But not everything is for children.)

When making lemonade with lemon juice, you usually have to make a simple syrup, as sucrose doesn’t dissolve in cold water and juice all that well. When making whole lemonade (also called “cloudy” lemonade), the lemon is sliced into wedges, then muddled with the sugar. This draws out the juice from the pulp and oil from the peel, but it also helps dissolve the sugar, eliminating the need for a syrup.

Once you’ve muddled, all you have to do is blend the sugary, smashed lemon segments with water — either in a standard blender or immersion blender — then strain out the solids. Pour the cloudy lemonade over ice, and sip away. You’ll immediately feel refreshed and — I think — a little fancy.

A single glass of cloudy lemonade


  • 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1-2 cups of water

Wash the the lemon and dry with paper towels. Slice into about eight segments, removing any seeds. Place the segments in a blender or cup that is large enough to accommodate the head of an immersion blender.

Photo: Claire Lower
Photo: Claire Lower

Sprinkle the sugar over the lemons and muddle with a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the pulp is decimated. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and blend on high until fairly smooth. There will be a lot of plant matter to strain out, but you shouldn’t see any discernible lemon pieces.

Photo: Claire Lower
Photo: Claire Lower

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large glass filled with ice. Taste and add more water if needed.

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