By Blake Sharp
This week on Killa Bites, I headed off campus to answer a question that had been pressing on my conscience for a while: what is the best lemonade to order from the Southern California-based chain, Lemonade? I have always wondered how their signature drink stacks up to other traditional lemonades and the other flavors available on the menu. Lemonade is a nostalgic drink, and the restaurant intends to remind customers of bright and warm feelings associated with the beverage. Some of these flavors definitely brought up some childhood memories, while others had some questionable flavors. Without further ado, I here bring you a definitive ranking of Lemonade’s cold pressed lemonades, frozades and fruity yogurt lemonade smoothies.
#9: Cold Pressed Cucumber Mint
Personally, this was my least favorite flavor on the menu. I am usually a huge fan of mint lemonades because the sweetness is enhanced by the fragrance, cleanliness and cooling effects of the herb. However, this lemonade tastes like spa water with subtle earthy flavors and a small hint of lemonade. If you are into cucumber spa water then this flavor might hold more appeal for you, but overall, I would skip this lemonade.
#8: Cold Pressed Blueberry Mint
Agan, I had high expectations for this lemonade because of my mint lemonade preference, and blueberries are my favorite fruit. This lemonade also had one of the prettiest and most defining colors of the group. However, I was very underwhelmed by the flavor because this drink also had the earthy flavor from the cucumber mint and lacked any other defining tastes. It tasted better to me than the cucumber mint because there was no lingering “spa water” feeling in my mouth.
#7: Cold Pressed Green Tea Tangerine
This flavor is great if you want a more mellow lemonade, but it lacked the tasty flavor punch that most of the other drinks had. This lemonade definitely has notable hints of green tea mixed with a watered down version of their blood orange lemonade. This drink didn’t really strike me either way, but I would recommend it to someone who wants a more Arnold Palmer vibe with their lunch.
#6: Pink Lemonade Frozade
This flavor lemonade was the most sour one I tried, and since it was a “frozade,” it had a much icier texture. It reminded me of the pink frozen lemonade cups sold at football or baseball games that I would always beg my parents for as a kid. I was a fan of the consistency and could see myself craving one over the summer once the temperature rises a little more.
#5: Mango Pineapple Fruity Yogurt Lemonade Smoothie
I was very excited to try this smoothie since mango pineapple is one of my favorite flavor combinations. That being said, the flavor was good but the pineapple was a little overpowering. There was not much of a lemonade flavor so if you are feeling more inclined to a smoothie than lemonade, this is your order. I also enjoyed the consistency of this drink a lot. It had the taste of a fruit and yogurt smoothie but the consistency of an icy blended beverage. It was a little bit of a mismatch with the flavor and consistency, but overall I did enjoy it.
#4: Cold Pressed Watermelon
I am not sure if this was just my family, but whenever my parents took us on long car trips, we would always stop at hole-in-the-wall Mexican taquerias for meals. This lemonade reminds me exactly of a watermelon agua fresca. It was a light, refreshing flavor and not too sweet. It was delicious, but not overpowering where you felt like you needed a break between sips. I could probably swallow the whole lemonade in three gulps.
#3: Strawberry Banana Fruity Yogurt Lemonade Smoothie
This smoothie had the same texture/flavor mismatch as the mango pineapple, but for some reason it worked a little better. I love strawberry banana combinations, and this flavor reminded me of coming home after elementary school and grabbing a strawberry banana Go-GURT from the freezer before playing with my friends. I was a big fan of the flavor and consistency and would absolutely recommend for a yummy, sweet summer drink.
#2: Cold Pressed Classic Lemonade
This is just a quintessential flavor of summer in a glass. Not too sweet, not too sour — truly a perfect sweet to tangy ratio. I had high standards for the classic flavor since the restaurant is named after the drink and nostalgia that accompanies it. The chain definitely lives up to its name; this lemonade evokes memories of summers spent by the pool with the feeling of not-rubbed-in sunscreen, the faint smell of chlorine, and the sounds of bare feet tapping on the pavement.
#1: Cold Pressed Blood Orange
This lemonade was my childhood in a cup. My backyard has a blood orange tree, and I have so many fond memories of picking the oranges and squeezing them for hours in my kitchen. Instead of running a lemonade stand in the summers, my friends and I always sold blood orange juice. This lemonade reminded me of the hot afternoons and countless mornings that were improved with a glass of blood orange juice. The flavor of the orange in the lemonade was powerful but not overpowering and not too sweet; sour enough to get the full experience of the competing citrus flavors. Overall, this lemonade was perfect, and I will definitely be back just for an order of it. Like I said, lemonade is a nostalgic drink for me, and this flavor gave me all the feelings.
Contact Blake Sharp at blakesharp ‘at’ stanford.edu.