Seriously, how good is that fancy Midway lemonade? It’s so deliciously thirst quenching, ice cold and served with plenty of lemon slices. It’s not quite like any other lemonade on the planet. But what exactly is it that makes this lemonade so special? I think I’ve uncovered the secret, and it’s not just the lemon slices.
According to a family friend, that fancy lemonade is actually closer to what some people call “lemon squash”. This method of making lemonade requires you to make a simple syrup with lemon juice before diluting with water. But those crafty drink elves take it a step further and add a portion of orange syrup as well, effectively making it a combination of lemon-and-orange squash. The orange with the lemon creates a well-rounded citrus flavour, and is the secret to making the lemonade extra special.
Eons ago I remember buying pre-made bottles of orange and lemon squash at Calgary Co-op. This made the process of making this special lemonade much easier. But it’s either been discontinued or very well hidden, as I was unable to track it down. But not to worry; with a little work and some fresh citrus, you can “squash” your own version of That Midway Lemonade.
This recipe does leave you with some leftover syrups; these are great for making orangeade or for adding to other cold drinks for a splash of citrus. They are delicious combined with sparkling water and an oz of vodka or tequila. As they are made without preservatives, the syrups will only last about a week or so in a the fridge, so use quickly.
You could probably make this with bottled lemon or orange juice, but for the best flavour, fresh squeezed citrus is best. Read on friends, to uncover the recipe for That Midway Lemonade.
That Midway Lemonade
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 & 1/2 cups water
- 6-7 lemons or 1 cup of lemon juice, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 5-6 navel oranges or 1 and 1/2 cups fresh orange juice, plus more for garnish (optional)
- ice enought to fill your pitcher, plus glasses
- medium saucepan
- 2 1L mason jars or similar vessel (to chill and store syrup)
- 1 2L PItcher or similar vessel (for storing lemonade)
Start by preparing the syrups; in a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the ingredients together over medium heat, until all the sugar is combined and the mixture starts to bubble, around 15-20 minutes. This mixture may be QUITE HOT so be careful. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Once the syrups are cool (1-2hrs), fill your pitcher with plenty of ice, and garnish with orange and lemon slices. Add 2 cups of the lemon syrup plus 1 cup of the orange syrup to the pitcher, and fill the rest with cold water, stirring well to combine. Serve over more ice and fruit slices.