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    Refreshing recipes for lemonade and other citrusy drinks for summer

    Cool down this summer with these thirst-quenching fruit drinks.

    Refreshing citrusy drinks for summer.
    Photographs by anthony tieuli; food styling by Sheila jarnes
    Refreshing citrusy drinks for summer.

    With all due respect to beer and iced tea drinkers, lemonade is arguably the iconic summer beverage. Beloved as it is, though, lemon isn’t the only ade in town. Limes also make a tangy, refreshing summer gulp, and orangeade is a soda fountain classic with wide appeal.

    If you prefer even lighter drinks in the summer, all of these recipes can be cut with an extra splash of sparkling water. Or, try a sprig of mint in the pitcher for a subtle herbal kick.

    CLASSIC LEMONADE

    Makes about 2 quarts

    This lemonade skews tart. Add a little extra sugar if you prefer it sweeter.

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    7 to 10 medium, juicy lemons, plus 4 medium, juicy lemons, scrubbed

    1 1/4 cups sugar, or more, to taste

    6 cups cold water

    Salt

    Ice, for serving

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    Squeeze the 7 to 10 lemons until you have 1 1/3 cups juice and set the juice aside. Quarter the 4 scrubbed lemons lengthwise, cut the quarters crosswise into thin slices and place them in a large glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container. Add the sugar, stir, and set aside until the fruit softens a little, about 20 minutes. Use a potato masher, muddler, or wooden spoon to mash the mixture until the fruit releases its juice and the mixture becomes syrupy. Add the water and a tiny pinch of salt and stir to dissolve the sugar fully.

    Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture, working the solids to exude as much liquid as possible. Add the reserved lemon juice and whisk to blend. Transfer the lemonade to a large pitcher and chill well. Stir to reblend and serve over ice.

    VARIATION: WATERMELON LEMONADE

    Makes about 2 quarts

    Pureed watermelon is pulpy. If you don’t mind a bit of viscosity in your lemonade, stick with a medium-mesh strainer to strain the mashed lemon slices and watermelon juice. If you want to catch more of the watermelon pulp, switch to a fine-mesh strainer. Make sure to stir any leftovers to reblend before serving.

    Follow the directions for Classic Lemonade, making the following changes:

    1) Before muddling the lemon slices and sugar, puree 6 cups of 1½ to 2-inch watermelon chunks until completely liquefied (you should have about 4 cups of watermelon juice), and set aside.

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    2) Decrease the sugar to 3/4 cup, the cold water to 3 cups, and the lemon juice to 1/3 cup.

    3) Strain the watermelon juice along with the muddled sugared lemon slices, and proceed with the recipe.

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    LIMEADE

    Makes about 2 quarts

    This limeade also skews tart; add extra sugar if you wish.

    4 to 6 medium, juicy limes, plus 3 medium, juicy limes, scrubbed

    1 1/4 cups sugar, or more, to taste

    6 cups cold water

    Salt

    Ice, for serving

    Squeeze the 4 to 6 limes until you have 3/4 cup juice and set the juice aside. Quarter the 3 scrubbed limes lengthwise, cut the quarters crosswise into thin slices and place them in a large, sturdy glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container. Add the sugar, stir, and set aside until the fruit softens a little, about 20 minutes. Use a potato masher, muddler, or wooden spoon to mash the mixture until the fruit releases its juice and the mixture becomes syrupy. Add the water and a tiny pinch of salt and stir to dissolve the sugar fully.

    Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture, working the solids to exude as much liquid as possible. Add the reserved lime juice and whisk to blend. Transfer the limeade to a large pitcher and chill well. Stir to reblend and serve over ice.

    VARIATION: PINEAPPLE LIMEADE

    Makes about 2 quarts

    Follow the directions for Limeade, making the following changes:

    1) Decrease the sugar to 1 cup and the number of limes mashed with the sugar to one. Add the remaining sugar along with the reserved lime juice. Whisk well to dissolve it.

    2) Substitute 2 cups of pineapple juice for 2 cups of the water.

    TIP: JUICIER LEMONS AND LIMES

    Juicier lemons and limes give a little when you squeeze them gently; if the fruit feels hard, it likely has thicker skin and less juice. Also, in my experience, fruit with a rounder shape is generally juicier than a specimen with a pronounced elliptical shape.
    Anthony Tieuli
    Juicier lemons and limes give a little when you squeeze them gently; if the fruit feels hard, it likely has thicker skin and less juice. Also, in my experience, fruit with a rounder shape is generally juicier than a specimen with a pronounced elliptical shape.

    CLASSIC ORANGEADE

    Makes about 2 quarts

    This is lighter and sweeter than plain orange juice, and very refreshing. You can substitute 3½ cups of high-quality orange juice for the 7 juiced oranges. Note that you’ll still need 3 oranges for mashing.

    10 large juice oranges, scrubbed

    2 medium, juicy lemons, scrubbed

    1/2 cup sugar

    3 cups cold water

    Salt

    Scant 1/8 teaspoon vanilla

    Ice, for serving

    Squeeze 7 oranges (you should get about 3½ cups juice) and set the juice aside. Quarter the remaining 3 oranges and the lemons lengthwise, cut the quarters crosswise into thin slices and place them in a large, sturdy glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container. Add the sugar, stir, and set aside until the fruit softens a little, about 20 minutes. Use a potato masher, muddler, or wooden spoon to mash the mixture until the fruit releases its juice and the mixture becomes syrupy. Add the water and a tiny pinch of salt and stir to dissolve the sugar fully.

    Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture, working the solids to exude as much liquid as possible. Add the reserved orange juice and vanilla and whisk to blend. Transfer the orangeade to a large pitcher and chill well. Stir to reblend and serve over ice.

    HONEYED GRAPEFRUITADE

    Makes about 2 quarts

    This is lighter and sweeter than plain grapefruit juice, and quite refreshing. You can substitute 2 cups of high-quality grapefruit juice for the 2 grapefruits that get squeezed, and use just the one that gets sliced and mashed.

    1/3 cup honey

    4 cups cold water

    3 large, heavy red grapefruits, scrubbed

    1½ tablespoons sugar

    Salt

    Ice, for serving

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup of the water to a bare simmer. Add the honey and continue to simmer, whisking, to dissolve, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

    Squeeze two grapefruits (you should get about 2 cups juice) and set the juice aside. Quarter the remaining grapefruit lengthwise, cut the quarters crosswise into thin slices and place them in a large, sturdy glass, ceramic or stainless steel (nonreactive) container. Add the sugar, stir, and set aside until the fruit softens a little, about 20 minutes. Using a potato masher, muddler or wooden spoon, mash and muddle the mixture until the fruit releases its juice, the skins are bruised, and the juices and sugar mix to become syrupy. Add the remaining 3½ cups water and a tiny pinch of salt and whisk to dissolve the sugar fully.

    Set a medium-mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture, pressing on and working the solids to exude as much liquid as possible; discard or compost the solids. Add the reserved grapefruit juice and honey-water and whisk to blend. Transfer the grapefruitade to a 2-quart or larger glass, ceramic or plastic (nonreactive) serving pitcher and chill well, at least 3 hours. Stir to reblend and serve over ice.

    VARIATION: HONEYED GINGER GRAPEFRUITADE

    Makes about 2 quarts

    The ginger flavor here is pretty mild. If you like it spicier, use 4 or 5 tablespoons of grated ginger.

    Follow the directions for the Honeyed Grapefruitade, stirring 3 tablespoons of finely grated fresh ginger in with the sliced grapefruit and sugar.

    Adam Ried appears regularly on “America’s Test Kitchen.” Send comments to cooking@globe.com. Get the best of the magazine’s award-winning stories and features right in your e-mail inbox every Sunday. Sign up here.