Here is a refreshing take on lemonade with a little something extra, pomegranate. The pomegranate gives it a dark red color and a little extra sweetness. I make this in the style of Indian lemonade, which is less tart than western lemonades. I also include the cumin salt rim, my favorite enhancement of an Indian-style lemonade.
Lemonade is an important drink in India, refreshing on those intense, hot summer days. Lemons have a long history in India and may have originated in Assam. I grew up making lemonade in my home to serve to friends and guests. Lemonade is also highly available from street vendors.
Pomegranate Juice – I’m using store-bought juice that is not from concentrate. Pomegranate is native to the area of Northwest India to Persia. It was an everyday fruit in my childhood, added to savory recipes and eaten on its own as a snack. Typically when we snacked on it, we added a pinch of salt, which is why the Indian-style lemonade appeals.
Lemons – “neembu” (Hindi), “limbu / limoo” (Gujarati/Farsi) – lemon and lime share the same name, or to be specific, you might say “bara neembu” for green lime. May have originated in Assam, Myanmar, or China.
Sugar – you can use any syrup sweetener, such as agave. I enjoy it with agave syrup; in the video, I make simple syrup. You may use the same amount of agave syrup as you prepare simple syrup.
Salt – I love how the salt tastes with the lemon and pomegranate.
Optionally, I like to add a cumin, sugar, and salt rim. Not only does it give it a nice look, but cumin and lemon are one of my favorite combinations.
Getting the Right Balance
I put a lot of trial and error into getting the right balance for this recipe. That balance is highly subjective, so you will want to adjust to your tastes. Indian lemonades are less tart, which is accomplished by adding more water to dilute the lemon. For a western palate, you may want to add more lemon.
There is also a balance between pomegranate juice and lemonade. The first version of this recipe that I made had double the amount of pomegranate juice, and the pomegranate was overpowering.
This is a good drink to serve kids at a party. It also makes an excellent drink if you serve Pomegranate Mimosas and want to offer your guests a non-alcoholic alternative.
- ½ cup simple syrup or agave sweetener
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup crushed ice
- Pinch of salt
For the Rim
- 1 lemon wedge
- ¼ tsp toasted cumin
- 1 tsp sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Stir together simple syrup, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, a pinch of salt, and cold water.
- Pour into a pitcher filled with crushed ice.
- To rim your glass, rub the lemon wedge around the rim to coat it with a thin layer of lemon juice. Mix cumin, sugar, and salt on a plate. Dip the glass in the mixture and twist to coat.