Lemon Drop Drink Recipe

This lemon drop drink recipe is a refreshing way to enjoy more water, and get us away from sodas with all their chemical additives and sugar.

Two fruits apparently have an alkalising effect on the body, namely the lemon and the watermelon. It is probably difficult for you to grasp how a food, obviously acidic, can have an this effect.

It has to do with the basic salts in some citrus; those of magnesium and calcium for example which are alkaline, so that the remaining ash after digestion is indeed alkaline.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 26th January, 2020.

By Bernard Preston

Growing lemon trees

Lemon water

Without a doubt the best way to enjoy the fruit is to squeeze the juice of one lemon include the pulp into a large jug of water. Add a sprig of mint, ice and drink your lemon water; lots of it.

It is extremely refreshing and healthy. I have just had a glass.

One chemistry teacher, asked about its acidic nature stated that lemon juice is essentially citric acid and water. Well, sir, I have reason to disagree.

Lemon juice is of course largely water, at 93 pecent; it is simply the solvent in which the carbohydrates, protein and fatty acids, vitamins and phytochemicals are dissolved.

And our lemon drop drink recipe is in the main made by adding yet more water.

It is certainly a good deal more than citric acid and water, but quite likely approximates the lemon drop drink recipe used by soft drink companies; no doubt with plenty of added sugar or artificial sweeteners.


1. Sugars

After water, a lemon is made up primarily of carbohydrates. In the juice, 70 percent of these are simple sugars, like glucose and fructose, but the pulp has a far high concentration of complex polysaccarides; like the very resistant starch called pectin.

It is not digested in the small intestine like those simple sugars, but passes right through to the colon where the very important microbiota feed on it. 

Simple sugars are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream giving an insulin rush; they have a high glycemic index which is not good when taken in quantity, but fine in small amounts. In this lemon drop drink recipe you do not need to fuss, with so much extra water added; the amount of carbohydrate, simple or complex, is relatively low.

In contrast, whilst killing time on the winch at the gliderport recently, I was shocked to discover that a two litre bottle of a common cola that someone had left behind has a whole cup of sugar.

But when using a lemon in cooking, for example in making an authentic hummus recipe where the carbohydrate is not diluted, it makes sense to use the pulp and the juice, and not just the liquid, to increase the percentage of complex sugars. It is where the fibre is too, and it tastes better, so end of the story. Where possible use the whole fruit.

Do not ever buy hummus without reading the label by the way. Many brands are so full of chemicals and taste terrible.

2. Acids

Then there are many different acids making up a small part of the carbohydrate. Compounds like the pectin that give your lemon juice the capability of forming a gel.

This jellying power is what makes the lemon the housewife's choice in making marmalade. Then there are other organic substances like citric acid.


Your lemon juice also contains numerous enzymes (protein) which may act negatively on the pectin once the lemon is cut and exposed to air. These enzymes are very important for our own digestive systems; it is what makes raw food so important.

Pectin gives your lemon juice it's "body", keeping the lemon juice liquid. Once these enzymes start to break down the pectin, it becomes first thicker and then all the "colloids" in solution will settle out at the bottom making it unattractive and the flavour deteriorates.

So, to make your LEMON DROP DRINK RECIPE we will heat the juice to inactivate the enzymes. They do it also to all commercial citrus drinks. It does however lessen the value of your lemon juice and lemon water.

In addition your lemon juice contains almost all the amino acids, only in small quantities. The exception is tryptophan and that is plentiful in egg, fish, soybeans, dairy, sesame, and red meat.

Fatty acids

Believe it or not, all citrus has a large number of lipids, mostly triglycerides. Their importance is that once cut and exposed to air, they rapidly become oxidised giving your lemon juice an off-flavour.

For the science boffin who says that the juice is basically citric acid and water, I thought it might be fun to list all the fats in a lemon: carotins, triglycerides, glycosilglycerides, many different polar lipids which I will not list, free fatty acides, sterols, tocoferols, phospholipids, limonin, palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, linoleic, oleic and linolenic fatty acids. Just citric acid and water, sir?

Limonin is formed from another fat when the lemon is squeezed and exposed to air. It is extremely bitter, which is why lemon water gets a "delayed bitterness", again due to enzyme action.


Your LEMON DROP DRINK RECIPE's colour comes mainly from the pigment beta-carotene which your body can turn into vitamin A.


Flavonoids are plant pigments that according to Wiki: "flavonoids may modify allergens, viruses, and carcinogens, and so may be biological "response modifiers". In vitro studies of flavonoids have displayed

  1. anti-allergic,
  2. anti-microbial
  3. anti-cancer activities
  4. anti-inflammatory activity .

They also reduce the permeability of the blood vessels, drugs are made from them in the control of varicose veins and thrombosis (clot formation).

Flavonoids are found abundantly in lemons in many different forms that I won't bore you with.


Your lemon juice, freshly squeezed contains large amounts of vitamin C, and also vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6...

Orange Juice (OJ) and Lemon juice (LJ)

Freshly squeezed

Protein 1.040.71,10,35
Carbohydrate 11.910,49,36.9
Fibre 2,50,22,80,3
Calcium 4011266
Magnesium 101186
Potassium 179200138103
Zinc 0,060,050,060,05
Selenium 0,10,10,40,1
Vit C 48,5505339
Folate 39301120
Vit E 0,40,40,150,15
Vit K 0,10,100
MUFAs 0,0550,0360,0110,006
PUFAs 0,060,040,0890,021

  • More about the virtues of OJ from a carton and the real thing, orange juice facts ... OJ actually is a junk food and in my opinion actually bad for you... gives you an insulin rush. Pre-diabetic stuff.

+ SELENIUM in Lemon Drop Drink recipe

Notice that lemon juice, with its pulp has FOUR TIMES the amount of the extremely important anti-oxidant which helps prevent malignant tumours, namely the mineral Selenium. But not if you use only the liquid.

Lemon Juice an Alkalysing drink?

It is bandied about that lemon juice is not acidic, despite the citric and many other acids, because the inorganic ash (calcium, magnesium...) is basic. But orange juice is acidic.

Frankly I have difficulty with this. I am a chem major, and no where can I find an authorative biochemist who can confirm the alkaline nature of lemon juice. You will notice in the table above that both OJ and LJ are rich in calcium and magesium, but the OJ has even more than LJ.

So how can OJ be acidic and LJ alkaline?

Until someone convinces me otherwise, I willassume that itis an old wives' tale without substantiation. Drink lemon water, it is extremely nourishing and has a great taste, but it is acidic. That is not a problem even if you have an arthritic tendency. Then you should be eating fatty fish and taking freshly ground flax seed daily.
There is lot of stuff at our websites. Try for example typing "flax seed" into the search engine:

Just type in whatever you are searching for.


The flavour of citrus is due to the blend of acids, specific flavour compounds called glycosides and the blend of sugars. Each cultivar has it's own unique blend, making fresh grapefruit juice quite different to lemon juice, say.

Do yourself a flavour: NEVER buy lemon juice flavouring in a small bottle. It tastes and is awful.

Want to enjoy the flavour and vastly improved nutrients in real OJ and LJ?


5 lemons = 20+ glasses of fresh lemon drop recipe

By way of concession, strain it... the reality is that when the hot and sweaty family arrive home they will be looking for something cold and refreshing. And will usually head for the refrigerator for a cola... Instead, make this very simple Lemon Syrup which, diluted, makes a very tasty and far healthier alternative to a coke. So here is our LEMON DROP DRINK RECIPE:

  1. Squeeze five fresh lemons into a pot. Remove the pips but include the small bits of pulp. That is my opinion; where much of the nutrition is but filter it out if you must. It made 200ml of the juice/pulp mixture.
  2. Add 150ml of sugar. Or less; it is not healthy. (Traditional recipes say 50/50 but that is far too sweet)
  3. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently.
  4. Cool, bottle and keep in the fridge. Not for too long.

A slosh of this concentrate in a glass filled with cold water makes a drink that takes a lot of beating on a hot summer's day. And the amount of sugar in a slosh of concentrate in reality is very little. There is about 1 tsp sugar per glass compared with 10 tsp sugar per coke.

Squeezing lemon juice
  • Orange juice press ...  actually I use a hand press mostly unless more than four or five citrus fruits. So much quicker, simpler, exercise for the hands. 

Jup, the nutrients are vastly better if you include the pulp, especially the vitamin C and calcium, so I take out the pips only in the strainer, and then use the hand blender to much it up.

Straining lemon juice
Lemon juice add sugar
Lemon syrup

I forgot to take the last photo, the family was in such a hurry to down their lemon drinks. Six glasses of lemon drop drink recipe had already been downed. Five lemons will make 20-30 glasses of our lemon drop drink recipe, depending on how strong you like it.

Growing lemon trees

Growing lemon trees with fruit and flowers

Making this LEMON DROP DRINK RECIPE is really only an option if you have your own lemon tree. The Meyer lemon is such a beautiful tree and, even as a decorative tree, it fits perfectly into any garden. Add to that the benefits of fresh lemon juice with your salads (far nicer than vinegar, even Balsamic vinegar), refreshing lemon water... why not think of planting a Meyer lemon. It is the best, a fairly small tree perfect even for the tiny garden, and it bears for months and months. The scent of those lemon flowers... divine. GROWING LEMON TREES ...


  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Citrus fruit list
  3. Lemon Drop Drink Recipe

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Hilton, KZN

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