Lemonade Isn’t Just For Kids – Try these 1860s favorites!  

Beware, these lemonade refreshments are not to be served to children.

lemonade recipes


Try one of these old-fashioned lemonade recipes from an 1862 bartenders guide. The author, Jerry Thomas, refers to the concoctions as “temperance drinks,” although sherry and port wine is often a component. The book, “How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon Vivant’s Companion,” is widely considered the first serious American book on cocktail recipes by drink historians. Beware, these lemonade refreshments are not to be served to children.




lemonade recipes

Lemonade (fine for parties)

The rind of 2 lemons
juice of 3 large lemons
1/2 lb. of loaf-sugar
1 quart of boiling water

Rub some of the sugar, in lumps, on two of the lemons until they have absorbed all the oil from them, and put it, with the remainder of the sugar, into a jug; add the lemon juice (but no seeds), and pour a quart of boiling water over the whole. When the sugar is dissolved, strain the lemonade through a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, and, when cool, it will be ready for use. The lemonade will be much improved by having the white of an egg beaten up with it; a little sherry mixed with it also makes this beverage much nicer.


lemonade recipes

Lemonade Recipe (for over 21 crowd)

For large bar glass
Juice of half a lemon
1-1/2 tablespoonful of sugar
2 or three pieces of orange
1 tablespoonful of raspberry or strawberry syrup

Fill the tumbler one-half full with shaved ice, the balance with water; dash with port wine, and ornament with fruits in season.


lemonade recipes

Plain Lemonade (from a recipe by the celebrated Soyer)

Cut in very thin slices 3 lemons, put them in a basin, add half a pound of sugar, either white or brown; bruise all together, add a gallon of water, and stir well. It is then ready.


lemons and berries

Orgeat Lemonade (drinks of the old temperance movement are making a return)

½ wine glass of orgeat syrup
juice of half a lemon

Many classic cocktails use orgeat syrup (pronounced “or-zat”) as an ingredient, the traditional sweet almond syrup blended with orange blossom or rose water. This recipe is for a large bar glass. Fill the tumbler one-third full of ice, and balance with water. Shake well, and ornament with berries in season.


lemons for lemonade recipes

Italian Lemonade (with a quart of sherry)

Pare and press two dozen lemons; pour the juice on the peels, and let it remain on them all night. In the morning add two pounds of loaf-sugar, a quart of “good” sherry, and three quarts of boiling water. Mix well, add a quart of boiling milk, and strain it through a jelly-bag till clear.