Summer is the season of lemonade. Just as good any other time, of course, there’s something about that perfect blend of hydrating, refreshing, sweet, sour, and ice-cold that makes a perfect match to a parched throat and a hot day.
There are many, many different types of beverages ending in “ade.” All that suffix really denotes is a beverage made with a combination of water, some type of flavor (most often fruit juice), and sweetener. In Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, these are called aguas frescas, or fresh waters.
Even within the “lemonade” category, there are tons of variations. Here in the United States, “classic” lemonade is a mixture of lemon juice, water, and sugar. In the United Kingdom, “traditional” or “cloudy” lemonade is carbonated and often unsweetened. Shikanjvi, popular in Northern India and Pakistan, is lemonade that is sometimes flavored with ginger, salt, saffron, or cumin.
We like our lemonade many different ways. Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory, sometimes sparkling, sometimes still. Spiked lemonade is a favorite adult cool-down; frozen lemonade is sold by the boatload at ballgames and theme parks.
And let’s not forget pink lemonade! Sometimes pink only by color, our editor Kim offers some great tips on how to make all-natural pink lemonade using not only color, but great flavoring agents like cranberries, watermelon, or grenadine.
And then there are the many non-lemon “ades.” Limeade is a close second in popularity, and sometimes preferred for its more floral flavor. Or maybe because it’s really just a virgin margarita.
Cherryade, orangeade—the list goes on and on. Fast food restaurant Sonic has made “ades” all the rage by offering custom flavor combinations on top of classics like cherry limeade and raspberry lemonade.
What about brand name “ades”? Sports drinks like Gatorade are made with natural and artificial flavors and electrolytes, but still hold true to the “ade” tradition, composed of more water than anything else. Gatorade recently released a line called “Sabor Nuestro,” or “Our Flavor,” which includes Latino agua fresca-inspired flavors like cucumber lime and watermelon citrus.
Powdered “ades” like Kool-Aid and Crystal Light are kind of like shortcut DIY versions of the classic “ade.” They typically contain artificial flavoring and sometimes a sweetener, all ready to go in a little envelope or tube.
Whether you’re more of a lemon or lime person, like your refreshments pre-made or homemade, gotta have some fizz or like it clear and still, there’s an “ade” out there for you. And if you can’t find one—well, all it takes is water, sugar, and your favorite flavors to dream up your own.
Need some inspiration? Check back in the Recipes channel later this week for our Watermelon-Mint Limeade.