Why You Should Be Adding Salt To Your Lemonade

Hot summer days call for cool refreshing drinks. There are few as well-known or regarded in the United States as a pitcher of ice-cold lemonade. The drink is easy to make and crowd-pleasing with a bright citrus flavor that recalls old Fourth of July barbecues and days spent lounging by the pool. To put it simply, the flavors of water, sugar, and lemon juice combine just right to create the taste of a Summer day.

Lemonade also makes for an excellent base for mixing as well. You can always spike it with some adult beverages or grab a lemonade-flavored product on the market. You could also jazz it up with an assortment of fresh berries. There's no shame in reaching for the powdered variety or spicing things up with a new ingredient, either. For the purists who want to get the best classic flavor from their lemonade, there is one other minor ingredient that we recommend — salt.

Salt enhances sweet flavors

No, we're not making the case for a savory lemonade here, though you can try that too. Wonder How To recommends adding Dijon mustard to your lemonade, but you may prefer their suggestion to add a pinch of salt instead. Much like adding a pinch of the old sodium chloride to sweets like cakes or pies, salt in lemonade can help boost the sweet flavors and diminish any bitterness that might be present as well.

Gizmodo reports that a study lead by Cellular physiologist Karen K. Yee shows that there is a receptor molecule in our mouths that actually moves sugars onto sweet taste cells on our tongues in the presence of sodium contained in salt.

The Kitchn notes that the right amount of salt makes things taste more like themselves. Think of the salt flakes on salted caramel or that salt rim on your margarita glass. Even the way that popsicles and sweets taste better in the briny beach air. Next time you're whipping up a pitcher of lemonade, don't forget to add a pinch of salt to help enhance the sweet, bright taste of Summer.