Few drinks are as simple to make as lemonade: take some water, add lemon and sugar, and stir. Et voilà: lemonade! It sounds simple, but as connoisseurs know, the differences in taste and experience can be significant. Below, our picks for some of the city’s best glasses of this delicious beverage. By Jessica Allen.
It’s probably not surprising that a restaurant that specializes in home cooking serves up a great sip of lemonade. The sweet stuff on offer at Kitchenette Tribeca and Kitchenette Uptown has been called “pitcher-perfect” and like “magic in a mason jar.” Made with real fruit from a family recipe and served in an actual mason jar, the lemonade comes in two flavors: “pink” and “strawberry,” by the glass or by the pitcher. You’ll want the pitcher.
Rhode Island-based Del’s arrived in New York in 2012, and caused, well, a stir. If you’re lucky enough to stumble across this food truck (following them on Twitter might help), go ahead and order a “refreshingly different” drink: a cup of frozen lemonade, or watermelon, or pomegranate, or peach/mango, or light lemon. The flavors may change, but the recipe has stayed the same since the first cup of fruit-ade was mixed in 1948, from a family recipe perfected in 19th-century Italy.
Fancy cocktails are the name of the game at the Greenwich Project — but if you’re looking for a virgin cooler, try the lemonade. The menu at this trendy-yet-casual eatery in the West Village lists the drink on their menu as “The Best Lemonade” — and we don’t disagree. The freshly pressed glass of sweet, summery goodness mixes lemon, cucumber, mint and stevia for a cool blast on a hot day.
The Meatball Shop makes different kinds of special, not-too-sweet lemonade fresh daily, including alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions. This casual restaurant, with several locations around the city, also makes balls, as in meatballs, as in veggie, chicken, beef (pictured), lamb, and pork, which are then slathered in your choice of sauce, such as pesto, tomato, or mushroom. Note too that jokes and innuendos designed to appeal to the 13-year-old boy in everyone abound.
OK, so an ice served in a paper cup isn’t a glass of lemonade. Fair enough. But after a few minutes of licking and/or melting in the sun, your ice from this Queens institution will start to turn slushy and soft enough to drink. Every flavor, from cantaloupe to rum raisin to coconut to the trusty lemon, uses real fruit. For more than 60 years, the Benfaremo family has sated the appetites of kids and grownups looking for a refreshing treat.