News – Lemonade: A sweet and sour drink with a history

Lemonade: A sweet and sour drink with a history

Water, sugar and lemon juice: The recipe has not changed much in over 1,000 years. Sour or sweet, pink or yellow, clear, cloudy or carbonated; for as long as life has been handing out lemons, people over the world, from the ancient Egyptians to Beyoncé, have been making lemonade.

Lemonade is a universally known drink, it is easy to prepare, and the health benefits are many. Thus, it has become a favorite drink to enjoy any time of the day, both by itself and with your meal.

The exact origin of the lemon itself has not been easy to ascertain, but new research has clarified its origin as a sour orange and citron hybrid. A study in the science journal Nature (Feb 2018) reveals that the discovery of fossilized leaves in the Yunnan province of China proves citrus has been around since the late Miocene epoch, some 8 million years ago.

Flash forward to 17th century Europe. Lemonade debuted in Paris on August 20, 1630. Made of sparkling water, lemon juice and honey, vendors sold it from tanks strapped to their backs. While popular across Europe, lemonade became so fashionable in Paris that in 1676 the vendors incorporated and formed a union called the “Compagnie de Limonadiers”. The recipe crossed borders, thanks to the creation of carbonated water. A substance that was improved by Johan Schweppe. The lemonade craze even helped Paris fend off the plague.

In 1870 in the United States, the lemonade had a great popularity as an elite drink, when the first lady, Lucy Ware, persuaded her husband President Rutherford Hayes, to ban alcohol consumption within the White House and proposed as an alternative provide lemonade. Its popularity led to the development of artifacts such as juice extractors, special containers for storing drinks, etc.

Since the twentieth century, lemonade has become a must-drink in soda fountains, restaurants and even bars and taverns.


How stuff works. (2018, May 30). The fascinating history of lemonade. Recuperado el 10 de agosto de 2018 de

Nature. (2018, February 15). Genomics of the origin and evolution of citrus. Recuperado el 10 de Agosto de 2018 de