Lemon Shake-Up Recipe — A Refreshing Summer Drink

Bobbie says:

Ah, summer. The scorching heat, the overwhelming humidity. Fun times. Well, when life hands you lemons, shake things up a bit and make Lemon Shake-Ups. Depending where you live, you may have had these treats at a local fair or carnival. For the uninitiated, a Lemon Shake-Up is basically a freshly made individual lemonade. At the fairs where I’ve had them, it’s a big production: One person operates a big press to squeeze the bejeebers out of a lemon, into a tall, heavy glass. Another person adds sugar, ice and some water. A paper cup is turned upside down over the glass, and someone else shakes it all up to dissolve the sugar. The whole lot is dumped into the paper cup, water is added to fill, et voila – a Lemon Shakeup is served. You’d have to pay four or five dollars for this refreshing beverage and the opportunity to see it being freshly made in front of you.

I’d been reminiscing about this unofficial beverage of state and county fairs, but not about the hassle of actually going to a fair and the expense of paying several dollars for one beverage. For the cost fair admission and ONE Lemon Shake-Up at the fair, I could buy enough lemons to make shake-ups for the whole neighborhood.

Making Lemon Shake-Ups at home means I can choose my own sweetener. Most of the time, I use a stevia-based sweetener such as Truvia or Pure Via. (I like my lemonade on the tart side, so I usually use 3 packets.) Honey and lemon is a great flavor combination, but getting honey to dissolve well in the ice water is difficult, so it’s best to first melt the honey in a small amount of very hot water. Once the honey melts into the water, add the ice and lemon and proceed. (As always, do not give honey or anything prepared with honey to infants under one year of age.)

Whatever sweetener you choose, use an amount equivalent in sweetening power to ¼ cup sugar.

 

 

Lemon reamer

Personally, I prefer this handheld wooden kind,because I find I’m able to get more juice out of each lemon or lime. I used to have one made of shiny black plastic, which looked gorgeous but was too slippery to get a good grip, so I could hardly
squeeze anything out of the fruit. That tool wore out its welcome almost immediately.

 

 

 

One-quart jar with lid

If you use a wide-mouth jar, you can put the lemon halves right in for a more authentic shake-up. If not, you can cut the lemon into smaller pieces after you’ve juiced it thoroughly. Make sure it has a leak-proof lid. This replaces the potential disaster of the tall-glass-and-large-paper-cup shaking method used in the carnival and fair production.

 

Lemon Shake-Up Recipe

  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup sugar OR 3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or agave nectar (OR equivalent amount of a sugar substitute – read package to determine amount – remember to dissolve thick syrupy sweeteners in a little hot water first)
  • 1 cup ice (crushed or cubes)
  • Cold water

Wash the lemon, and cut it in half. Juice the lemon into the jar using your method of choice. If you prefer your drink to be slightly less “authentic” you can remove the seeds.

Add the lemon halves to the jar. If you wish, you can cut these into smaller pieces first, but it’s not
necessary. Add the sugar or sweetener, ice and about a cup of water. Cover tightly and shake until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the lid and add enough ice and water to make 16 ounces. Pour into a tall glass, or just drink it straight from the jar. I won’t tell.

 

 Bobbie Laughman is a freelance writer who thinks she’s normal. Don’t try to tell her otherwise.

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Comments

  1. VeraThomasHannaford says:

    Sounds refreshing!

  2. HeatherSolos says:

    I drink from jars all the time. . . what are you saying?

  3. Bobbie Laughman says:

    @HeatherSolos I’m saying….”Welcome to the club!” (My cupboard has 3 actual glasses, several mugs, and a bunch of jars!)

  4. I have been making a 2 quart (glass milk jar) of lemonade each day or my family to chug.( Unfortunately, a bout with laryngopharyngeal reflux has me cutting out acidic foods for now Or I’d probably have to make two). I do use sugar, and when I can’t use fresh lemons I use that “real” ~ish juice. I fill the jar about 1/3 of the way with water, pour in 1/3 cup sugar and shake vigorously (with the jar capped, of course) and then add some chugs of lemon juice (guess one would want to use 3 lemons) and then fill with ice water, It IS a refreshing quick summer drink!

    I just love your site and daily pertinent topics! Thanks!

  5. I have been making a 2 quart (glass milk jar) of lemonade each day or my family to chug.( Unfortunately, a bout with laryngopharyngeal reflux has me cutting out acidic foods for now Or I’d probably have to make two). I do use sugar, and when I can’t use fresh lemons I use that “real” ~ish juice. I fill the jar about 1/3 of the way with water, pour in 1/3 cup sugar and shake vigorously (with the jar capped, of course) and then add some chugs of lemon juice (guess one would want to use 3 lemons) and then fill with ice water, It IS a refreshing quick summer drink!

    I just love your site and daily pertinent topics! Thanks!

  6. HeatherSolos says:

    @Narey let’s just hope you didn’t learn to add the “jar capped tightly” the hard way.

    Don’t tell anyone, but I use the real-ish lime juice for my margaritas. I go to the trouble of making simple syrup, but the idea of squeezing 9000 limes is just over my fussy recipe limit. Will I do it for a special occasion? Yep, but I’ll make the company help if they are fussy enough to expect fresh lime juice. ;)

  7. Bobbie Laughman says:

    @Narey Only 1/3 cup sugar for 2 quarts? That’s great that your family will drink it so tart – less sugar is always a good thing! As for the “Real-ish” juice in a bottle, I really can’t bear it myself, so what I do often is to buy lemons when they’re at a really good price, juice them & freeze the juice in a large shallow container. Then I break up that lemon ice and keep it in a bag in the freezer. This works better for me than freezing in ice cube trays because the thinner lemon ice melts more quickly, It’s almost as handy as a bottle, and it’s truly real, not just real-ish :-) I can get just a TINY bit if I want, and it doesn’t leave that hint of lemon in my ice that I might totally be imagining but doesn’t seem to wash away when I clean the trays after freezing juice in them.

    BTW, I love this site too — don’t tell her I said so, but Heather is amazing :-)

  8. HeatherSolos says:

    @Narey Also, thank you for the compliment.

  9. HeatherSolos says:

    @Bobbie Laughman the question is, pint or quarts?

  10. Bobbie Laughman says:

    @HeatherSolos If you really want to know, I have wide-mouth quarts, regular and wide-mouth pints and jelly jars. And I keep lids handy, so I can easily take a drink along with me in the car. (I really hate drinking out of plastic cups. Might be a mental block, but I really can’t stand it.)

  11. HeatherSolos says:

    @Bobbie Laughman We’re cut from the same cloth.

    Milk out of plastic is an abomination.

  12. EricaMueller says:

    They make it like this at the corndog stand in our mini-mall’s parking lot. It is the best lemonade in town! I may have to go get one now…

  13. jeddahgal says:

    Thank you for posting this — it brought back memories of eating hot corn dogs and ice cold lemon shake-ups with my father at the Illinois State Fair.

  14. What a great idea! I love those when I see them at fairs. Now I don’t have to wait to have one.

    Sarah

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