When my kids were little, they both had a tendency to wheeze when given any commercially available squashes. We eventually identified the culprit as sulphur dioxide, a commonly used preservative in South Africa in those days, especially in fruit products.
So we avoided them. Since pure fruit juices, while abundant and richly varied in South Africa, were beyond our budget on any grand scale, this meant that the kids' liquid intake was somewhat restricted.
Fortunately, John's Mom used to make lemon squash - which the boys dubbed 'granny juice' - in vast quantities. It was delicious and refreshing. And, yes, it contained a lot of sugar, but absolutely nothing else nefarious.
And of course, it works just as well with limes... or a combination of the two.
12 unwaxed lemons, thoroughly washed
2l (2,000ml) water
- If you're feeling dedicated, use a grater to grate off the zest of about half the lemons. Otherwise, use a vegetable peeler, but be careful not to get any of the pith.
- Place the zest, water and sugar into a saucepan (not an aluminium one!) over a low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. The liquid should be a yellow shade and smell of lemons.
- Strain out the zest and set the liquid to one side.
- Squeeze the juice out of the lemons and add to the liquid (which will have cooled down a bit by now). It is very important not to boil the juice, or even to heat it up too much, because that will destroy the vitamin C (apparently).
- Bottle and keep until needed. Make sure the bottles are well sealed.
- To drink, dilute just as you would any other squash to get the strength you require.