If there’s anybody who could get us to alter our go-to lemonade recipe in the middle of summer, it’s Alton Brown.
All Southerners know that sugar, sugar, and more sugar is the trick to good lemonade, which can be a serious bummer if you’re watching your weight, or, you know, over the age of 12. So, when we learned that Brown managed to come up with a lemonade recipe that isn’t loaded with sugar but still checks both the delicious and refreshing boxes, you better believe we came running.
The cookbook author, television host, and all-around food science whiz shared his lemonade recipe in Alton Brown: Everyday Cook. In it, he uses just half a cup of sugar along with fresh lemon juice and a secret ingredient which Brown calls the key to making perfect lemonade: homemade preserved lemons. It’s certainly a more labor-intensive preparation, but when the Serious Eats guru says it adds "real depth of flavor," he means it.
To create Brown’s lemonade, start by making a lemon syrup by simmering about six of the preserved lemon slices, sugar, and water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Let the syrup cool for about one hour, then add in your fresh lemon juice. To serve, combine the lemon juice and lemon syrup mixture with sparkling water and ice. Voila! An Alton Brown-approved lemonade to get you through the summer months.
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If you don’t have the time (or energy) to make your own preserved lemons, you can buy them jarred at places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and on Amazon.