Cocktails don’t get much simpler, or more refreshing, than the London Lemonade. Combining one part gin with two parts lemonade, it’s a classic summertime drink with an added kick.
Easy to make, even in large batches, it’s the perfect cocktail for entertaining guests or for yourself at the end of a long day.
About the London Lemonade
The drink is so widespread that determining its origin is practically impossible. Nobody even knows if it was actually invented in London, although the name is almost certainly a reference to the UK’s longstanding association with gin cocktails.
The tart citrus blends expertly with the juniper taste of the gin to create a fresh, smooth flavor.
Of course, fresh-squeezed lemonade isn’t always available. Store-bought lemonade will also work well, but you want a brand with as few ingredients as possible. Avoid brands with additives such as high-fructose corn syrup, which can add unwanted sweetness.
London Lemonade Variations
You’ll find countless alternatives to this simple recipe. Popular favorites include:
- Russian Lemonade: Substitute vodka for gin, then add a dash of sugar and lime juice.
- Southern Lemonade: Replace the gin with bourbon. Add either a strawberry garnish or chopped strawberries directly into the drink.
- Sparkling Water: If the drink is too tart for your tastes, add about 1/2 ounce or more of sparkling water. To further dilute the lemon taste, add a lime slice to the drink.
How to Make Fresh Lemonade
Why buy lemonade from the store when it’s so easy to make on your own? Here’s a quick recipe for homemade lemonade.
- 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
Combine the sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer. Cook until the sugar dissolves completely. Pour this sugar syrup mixture into a metal bowl and let it cool.
Next, add lemon juice, two cups of water, and 1/3 of the sugar syrup to a pitcher or similar container. Stir thoroughly and taste. Add more sugar syrup as needed. You can store fresh lemonade in the refrigerator for about three days.
- 2 ounces of gin
- 4 ounces of lemonade
- 1 lemon wheel
- Combine the lemonade and gin in a rocks glass
- Add ice until the glass is about three-quarters full
- Stir briefly to help the ingredients mix naturally
- Garnish with the lemon wedge
A London Lemonade is refreshing in practically any type of weather or any time of day. Although commonly thought of as a hot weather drink, it’s also a tasty choice during rainy weather.
After all, if the drink really was invented by the British, then it likely wouldn’t have become so popular unless it paired well with a rainy day.