Our lemon tree produced a bumper crop of delicious lemons this year. Grant juiced dozens last week and it hardly made a dent in the tree. We had ten cups of juice, enough for lemon bars, lemonade, frozen lemon juice and more lemonade. The funny thing about this lemon tree is that I planted it as an orange tree in 2008. The bottom half of the tree produced super sweet oranges, but the top half produced sour oranges that were more yellow. About five years ago, I stood looking at that tree and realized the top half had different shaped leaves and the yellow oranges on top were shaped more like lemons. Then, it dawned on me that it must have had lemon grafted to it. It has been great to have both lemons and oranges. The lemons are outstanding and so sweet. I wonder if it is a Meyer lemon. This year there are hardly any oranges and the lemons look more like oranges. I have heard a hybrid tree will eventually turn to only one fruit.

Since my Mom and I do not eat sugar, I made lemonade sweetened with honey. I will include the recipe for that also.

Peach Schnapps is very good added to lemonade. Is there already a name for that drink?

FRESH LEMONADE

  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup simple (sugar) syrup *See Note
  • 5 cups water

Mix ingredients together in a pitcher. Add more sugar syrup or lemon juice to taste, if desired.

Note: Simple syrup is equal amounts of sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves. Try one cup of sugar to one cup of water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high until boiling. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in a jar in the refrigerator several weeks. (It will eventually develop mold. If you see something floating in the syrup, discard.) Extra simply syrup may be used as a coffee syrup by adding extract to flavor it. I use about 1/2 teaspoon extract to 1/2 cup syrup. Vanilla, chocolate, coconut, hazelnut, strawberry and maple are some of the flavors I make.

HONEY-SWEETENED LEMONADE

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup honey syrup * See Note
  • 3 cups water

Mix ingredients together in a pitcher. Add more syrup or lemon juice to taste.

Note: Honey syrup is equal amounts of honey and water heated together to make a syrup. Try 1/2 honey and 1/2 cup water heated in a saucepan. Any leftovers may be refrigerated several weeks.

Fresh-squeezed Homemade Lemonade

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