My friend Audrey told me many times about this wonderful family recipe for traditional Lebanese lemonade. I finally got a chance to try it during a heat wave a few summers ago and she was right, this is the best lemonade in the world!

Make it in advance because the preparation requires a little love and maceration time. You will end up with exquisite lemonade concentrate.

Traditional Lebanese Lemonade

• 8 whole organic lemons, cut into slices about 5mm thick
• The juice of 8 pressed fresh lemons
• 3 cups of fine granulated sugar (Unfortunately, honey, agave or maple syrup do not have the property to disgorge lemons. You can use natural sugar, provided that it is fine, pale and it can be dissolved easily)
• Orange blossom water (optional)
• Cold water and ice

Preparation:

1. In a large bowl, combine lemon slices with sugar and mix well. Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. Stir once or twice during this time.

2. After 24-48 hours, add the juice of 8 lemons and mix well. You should end with a fairly thick syrup.

3. Strain and pour in glass jars to go in the refrigerator.

4. Keep in a container some of the lemon slices that were strained out and drop one or two in the bottom of the glasses when serving the lemonade.

5. For a glass of lemonade: Use 2-3 tablespoons of this mixture (or to taste) in a glass of water with ice and a slice of lemon. If you like orange flower water you can add one or two drops, but go easy because it's very fragrant.

For a perfect sparkling aperitif in hot weather: Pour 2 teaspoons of lemonade concentrate into a champagne flute, add a few mint leaves and pour your favourite dry sparkling wine over it. Cheers!