Italian Lemonade

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italian-lemonadeWith the heat of summer looming ahead let’s beat the heat with this cool treat. In my opinion, nothing goes better with a hot summer day than a glass of Lemonade or an Italian Cream Soda, but how do those drinks make a dessert? They don’t …however; it’s the looks and flavors that inspire the creation of these Italian Lemonades. I’ve made each of these as individual desserts but never together, so I thought, “why not?” We’ll be making Italian custard called, Panna Cotta, to go with some lemon gelatin as we fill our SupaCute Joli cups.

Lemonade History:

As lemons and sugarcane are native to India, it is safe to assume the Indians first consumed a type of lemonade called nimbu pani, meaning "lemon water".

Lemons were later introduced in Persia, Arab countries, Iraq, and Egypt in around 700 AD. The first written evidence of its existence is found in Egyptian writings and so we have a reason to believe that it originated in Egypt. It is said that the peasants there, drank a wine made from lemon, date, and honey known as qatarmizat. In Cairo, lemon drinks were not only favorites among the locals but were also exported during the 13th century. Some also believe that it was first introduced in France during the 16th century.

Today, one can find different types of ready-made lemon drinks on the market. The three basic types are clear, cloudy, and fizzy.  Below are the different variations of Lemonade.

Lemonade Varieties:


photo credit: Pinterest

The predominant form of lemonade found in the US, Canada, and India, cloudy lemonade, also known as "traditional lemonade" in the UK and Australia, is typically non-carbonated and made with fresh lemon juice, however, commercially produced varieties are also available. Generally served cold, however, when heated it can be used as a remedy for congestion and sore throats.


photo credit: Pinterest

A popular variation of cloudy lemonade is pink lemonade. It’s created by adding additional fruit juices, flavors, or food coloring to the recipe, which gives it the distinctive pink coloring; possible additions may include raspberries, strawberries, cherries, red grapefruit, grapes, cranberries, or grenadine.


photo credit:

The clear variety is made in carbonated soda or in plain water without adding sugar. This used to be a popular beverage in the European countries. Clear lemonade can be consumed on its own or as a mixer. Mixed with beer, clear lemonade is used to make a shandy. In Ireland, lemonade is available as a clear "white lemonade", as well as in red and brown varieties.


What You’ll Need:

1 box lemon Jell-O
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

optional - 24 slices of lemon
optional - 8 straws
* to make as grown-up treat add some limoncello to the Panna Cotta layer and/or Whipped Cream layer. I don’t recommend adding to the Jell-O because it won’t fully set.


Lemon Layer:

Make according to the box directions. I used “Quick Set” so I can get my next layer going.
For a creative flair, I tilted the cups as the Jell-O set.


Panna Cotta Layer:

In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove the pan from heat. In a large saucepan bring 2 cups of the whipping cream, half and half, and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring regularly. Bring to a gentle boil then remove the pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture, then the 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla, and a splash of limoncello for the adult version. Divide cream mixture among the cups.


(Optional) Whipped Topping Layer:

Whisk the remaining 1 1/2 cups whipping cream to medium stiff peaks. (If making for adults add some of the limoncellos to the cream when you get to medium peaks). Spoon or pipe the whipped cream onto the Panna Cotta.


Finishing Touches:

Feel free to garnish with a straw and lemon slice.

         When life gives you lemons …
                           Make Italian Lemonade


Enjoy these treats for about a week when covered or unless the dairy expires before.


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Until next time …

Dessert Girlie