Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    625 ml

Appears in

This is a lovely basic to which you can add more or less sugar or lemons and double, halve or triple quantities as you like. If you and your children prefer, you can use still, not fizzy, water. On a hot summer day this always has been, and always will be, amazing. I like to put the sparkling water in the freezer so that it is really cold, make up the syrup (and leave it to cool) and then pour in the ice-cold water just before serving so that the bubbles don’t disappear. I think you could probably make a lovely limeade in this way, too, and soon I might try it with pink grapefruits for a brunch.


  • 70 g( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • one long strip of lemon rind, pith removed
  • juice of lemons (about 125 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup)
  • 500 ml(17 fl oz/2 cups) ice-cold sparkling water


Put the sugar, lemon rind and 3 tablespoons of tap water in a small pan. Bring to the boil, stirring so that the sugar dissolves completely, then boil for a few minutes so that the lemon rind flavours the syrup. Add the lemon juice (I like to leave in some fleshy bits that might get through, but no pips) and let that bubble up for a minute or two. Pour into a large jug and cover with a cloth or lid as you’ll probably be making this in summer and there might be flies. Leave to cool completely. When you’re ready to serve, pour in the sparkling water and mix well. Ladle out into glasses and add ice if you like.

We are all born to play a role, from our early days... remember the lemonade maker, the one who set up the stall on the side of the road, the passer-by?