Roast Your Lemons For Perfectly Sweet Lemonade

You know what they say: When life gives you lemons ... well, you know the rest. Lemonade's brilliant balance of sweet and sour flavors from sugar and lemons makes for a tart treat of a beverage. But while lemons pack a punch of ultimate tartness, it actually contains some natural sweetness beneath the surface — you just have to roast them in order to unlock it. 

You've probably noticed that cooking fresh fruit on the grill or in a skillet lends them an even sweeter taste, cooking the natural sugars until they caramelize. This is precisely what happens with lemons when you roast them, which can yield the epic flavor bomb in your next batch of lemonade that might even allow you to cut down on the added sweetener, depending on your liking. Furthermore, this trick mellows out the sourness of the citrus and adds an element of smokiness that will take your taste buds for a wild ride.

Next-level lemonade

All you have to do to roast your lemons is heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, cut them in half, place them cut-side-down onto a greased baking sheet, and cook until they're blistered and slightly scorched around the edges. From there, simply let them cool and get to juicin'. Once you've got your naturally sweet, subtly sour, and somewhat smoky lemon juice extracted, strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all the peels and pulp, and if it still needs some sweetener, add some to your liking. 

For an extra depth of flavor, you can actually toast your sugar without caramelizing it, which can then be added to your pitcher for double the deliciousness. Just spread your sugar out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping a close watch until it's ready. From there, you can add it straight into your lemonade or substitute it in for regular sugar in a batch of simple syrup. Talk about toasty and tasty!