It's nearly summer here in the Midwestern USA, and thoughts turn to refreshing drinks. The Harrison County Fair is about to start, and that means lemonade.
|Image courtesy of SweetClipArt|
My mother asked me what makes pink lemonade pink, and I didn't know, so I found out.
First, although I always associate lemonade with the turn of the 18/19th centuries, it's an ancient drink. Lemons, which originated in the Mediterranean area, were squeezed, diluted with water, sugared and cooled for the upper class, who could afford to bring ice down from the mountains.
By the 17th century, lemonade had made its way to Europe, where it was a popular street vendor product.
Lemonade came to the USA with European settlers. Where lemons couldn't be had, lemonade could be made with lemon syrup, which could be imported. The temperance movement, during the Victorian era, made lemonade the genteel drink of choice, and it was featured at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition.
In 1872 or 1873, a 15-year-old boy who had run away from home to join the circus, Henry E. Allott, dropped some cinnamon candies into the lemonade he was mixing. The pink lemonade outsold the regular, and has been a staple of the circus concession stand ever since. Red fruit juice is sometimes added by home cooks to get the color, but cinnamon drops originally made the yellow drink pink.
So now we all know.