Coffee Lemonade Is the Craziest, and Most Refreshing Twist on Cold Brew (and Lemonade)

Coffee lemonade is the new trendy summer drink and everyone is dying to try it, so why not make your own at home? It is quite simple. It is a 1:1 ratio of lemonade and coffee. Just mix the two together and you have the perfect refreshment for these hot summer days!


Photo: Instagram LukasVolger

Photo: Instagram LukasVolger


This sounded at once delicious and disgusting, not to mention a potentially slanderous use of a name. An Arnold Palmer, of course, is made with equal parts iced tea and lemonade, and never has milk (or coffee) been a part of it. I felt strongly—before even tasting the drink—that it needed a new name. Or maybe the absurd combination of black coffee and lemon didn’t even deserve a name. Maybe it just needed to not happen.

But I soon discovered that despite my skepticism, coffee and lemonade is definitely a thing. An April 2016 post on Food52 suggested that the invention, supposedly called a “Laura Palmer,” is relatively recent. Meanwhile, over at Real Simple, Sarah Karnasiewicz called it “The Thunderbolt” and reported that a Brooklyn coffee shop had been selling it for two years. A link in Karnasiewicz’s piece hinted that, at around the same time the Brooklyn shop started selling the Thunderbolt, a Swedish coffee shop started hawking kaffelemonad, which translates simply to “coffee lemonade.”

A lot of these articles had suggestions for how to build a proper Thunderbolt/Laura Palmer/coffee lemonade. Their consensus seemed to be that a 3:2 ratio of coffee to lemonade (with no almond milk to be found) is the most successful. I did some mixing of my own and will now distance myself from the pack by suggesting a different, simpler ratio of 1:1. When stirred together in equal parts, the beverage takes on ambiguous but powerfully refreshing properties: Sort of lemony, sort of tea-like, and not distinctly coffee-ish until the finish, when the coffee reasserts itself in a big way. The combo makes iced coffee into more than a mere caffeine-delivery system—thanks to the lemonade, it transforms into true summer refreshment.

Read the full article here.

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