A few weeks ago, I met some friends for happy hour. I don’t drink, and I was tired of Diet Coke. I didn’t feel like iced tea. I was at a loss for what to order. Then it hit me: order some lemonade. I did, and it was, well, uninspiring. A couple days later, the same thing happened. Happy hour, wasn’t going to drink alcohol, didn’t want a Diet Coke, wasn’t feeling iced tea, tired of water, so I ordered a lemonade. Again, it was “eh.”
And that’s when it hit me: is there any such thing as good—like, really good—lemonade?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been on a crusade to answer this question. After testing lemonade at a dozen places, I’ve found the answer: yes, there is interesting lemonade in Dallas.
So here, for you on National Lemonade Day, I present the five most interesting lemonades I’ve come across.
(This is by no means a complete list. If you have a place you go that offers up an interesting, delicious lemonade, please let me know. My search—and the summer heat—is not over.)
Where: Proof + Pantry
This was by far my favorite. It was also the prettiest and probably most involved to make. Three blueberries, two blackberries, and one strawberry are muddled in a shaker tin, and then an ounce of lemon juice and 1.5 ounces of simple syrup are added. This is shaken then poured into a tall glass of ice. Water is added with sugar and lemon. The lemonade is served with mint and a lemon wheel.
Green Tea Mint Lemonade
Where: bbbop Seoul Kitchen
The green tea mint lemonade is brewed fresh daily, and is a simple blend of green tea and spearmint leaves, which gives it a refreshing, crisp taste.
Where: Hospitality Sweet (lemonade is only sold at the St. Paul Street location)
This was the most interesting tasting of the bunch. It was a little strong, so I cut mine with water after I got halfway through. A lot of love goes into this glass of lemonade, whose recipe was created by Hospitality Sweet barista, Kelli Gill. The lemonade is made of freshly squeezed lemons and Hospitality Sweet’s signature lavender syrup. The baristas make the syrup by taking raw sugar and filtered water and infusing that with culinary-grade blue lavender and Madagascar vanilla beans.
Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
Where: Seasons 52
This had several dimensions to it with the raspberries and soda water. The first one we got was a little too heavy on the sparkling aspect, but our second glass was just right. The beverage is made by muddling two raspberries and then filling a glass with the raspberries, freshly-made raspberry lemonade, and soda water. The glass is garnished with raspberries and a mint sprig. And, because all calories at Seasons 52 are counted, know that this one will run you 90 calories.
Where: Stampede 66
Manager-sommelier, Molly Hagler, came up with this recipe to honor her grandparents, who would take her on trips where she would gather honey stick candles. One day, she got the idea to pour 20 honey sticks in a lemonade, thus the Honey Lemonade was born. It’s made with one part Texas honey and two parts hot water. Once that mixture has cooled, it’s mixed with equal parts fresh-squeezed lemon juice and simple honey.