A colourful summer river of lemonade

A colourful summer river of lemonade

Although people drink lemonade all year round, they are most frequently consumed in the summer. Different kinds of “natural” and “homemade” lemonade have been appearing in households, restaurants, swimming pools and different sales locations throughout the summer.

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History of lemonades in the Czech Republic In gastronomy, lemonades were primarily yellow and raspberry flavoured and had contained CO2 for a long time. They were cheap, refreshing and popular, but not all that tasty. Home-made production of non-alcoholic beverages (fizzes) was once a phenomenon. These beverages fizzed and foamed but still lacked a stronger taste. Fruit juice and syrups, like forest fruit, garden mix and other varieties took over the main share of non-alcoholic beverages made at home. However, sugar and the dilution ratio decimated most of the flavour. The lemonades lacked punch, and any taste that they had was created by the colour. However, Amary was an exception. Amary was fiercely green and, with its ratio of chinine, it was the market leader in terms of composition for some time. A carbon dioxide bottle gave all these blends new meaning. Almost every family owned this bottle. Bubbles made the drink more refreshing.
In the Spartakiad era, lemonades were offered in clear, plastic bags with a hole to hold the straw. Later on, there was Pompela in plastic cups that were closed with metal foil. The flavour was bland and the bubble effect was missing in both cases. The beverages were not carbonated.
 
There was a drastic change in the assortment of non-alcoholic beverages at the end of the 1950’s, when Kofola, the first Czech cola beverage, was launched onto the market. It broke records from the very beginning and its popularity had no limits. Even though Coca Cola licensed products began appearing a few years later, they were no threat to Kofola. In the 1970’s, Kofola sold up to two hundred million products per year.

Lemonades today

“Home-made” lemonade, like cucumber, ginger, carrot and melon also began appearing in gastronomy. You will find these in almost every restaurant. Lately, we have taken to “home-made” lemonade in the same way as we had once taken to other products in the past. The popularity of home-made lemonade has reached epidemic dimensions. In a time when we are ruled by the obsession to be healthy, these beverages that are served in restaurants under the almighty word: “home-made”, seem to be the magical drink of choice, especially when one of the ingredients includes herbs.  

Recipe

There are also restaurants that make their own lemonade from scratch. Once example of such production process is seen at the small Pipca bistro on třída Milady Horákové, which truly makes home-made lemonades from scratch, including the base syrup, which is the same for all other ingredients. We need 600 g of sugar for every 1 litre of water. This dissolves when heated and the desired fruit is then added once it has been thoroughly washed, mixed and pressed. It is then re-heated, not boiled. The temperature is kept around 70oC, which is close to the pasteurisation value, and prevents the sugar from caramelising. The solution remains nice and smooth. Lemonade from the finished syrup is then made up of approximately 300 ml of soda. We prefer the final product to be carbonated, but it is not necessary (approximately 4 ml syrup, ice and fresh mint). The ratio may change depending on the ripeness of the fruit used and the intensity of the flavour.