Gillian's Larder

Herbs and spices
from the Cornish cooking shop.
Buy just the amount you need




Real lemonade

Real lemonade beats manufactured drinks hands down. It’s deliciously refreshing after a hot afternoon’s gardening ... or just soaking up the sun!

  • 6 small unwaxed lemons or 4 big ones
  • 1.35kg / 3lb sugar
  • 60g / 2oz citric acid
  • 2-4 litres / 4-6 pints water

Dig out some jugs or bowls—you’ll need containers to hold the finished lemonade!

Boil about half of the water. Use a potato peeler to pare the yellow outer skin from the lemons thinly. Put the peel, the sugar and the citric acid into a big bowl or saucepan and pour the boiling water in. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Squish the lemon peel with the back of a spoon to get as much flavour out as possible.

Add the rest of the water. Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the bowl. Pour the lemonade through a sieve to remove the lemon pips and peel, and put it in the fridge to cool.

Serve with a sprig of mint in tall glasses, diluted to taste. Mmm! Summer as it used to taste.

• The quantities in this recipe can be varied as you wish: less sugar, fewer lemons ... I make it as above, then dilute it 1:3 when I serve it.

It works just as well with grapefruit.

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I'd love to hear how you get on! You can email me at: gillian@

Good luck!