The one thing you should always add to your homemade lemonade

No matter what time of year it is, lemonade is always a crisp and refreshing drink. But, there's something about making your own lemonade that seems to make it all the better. While drink mixes can have other ingredients in them that you might not want in your lemonade, stirring up a pitcher yourself means you can control exactly what goes into it. Whether you prefer sweeter lemonade or a tart drink, you should always add one additional ingredient to pack even more flavor: lemon zest (via The Kitchn). 

When the outlet tested 10 ways to make lemonade, there was one key lesson that improved the lemonade, and that was adding lemon zest. Adding zest even if you use lemon concentrate creates a depth of flavor that is otherwise hard to capture. Furthermore, when you add zest, the essential oils from the lemons get into the drink and help add a brightness that juice alone doesn't.

How to incorporate more zest into homemade lemonade

There were several ways to incorporate lemon zest according to the recipes The Kitchn followed. One of the best ways was to make lemonade with a stand mixer because it squeezed all of the juice and essential oils out of halved lemons. The lemons were then strained and the liquid had the bright, zesty flavor that's so good. Macerating the lemons is another highly-approved way to achieve this, too.

According to Bon Appetit, the lemoniest lemonade is made with something called oleo-saccharum which is an ingredient bartenders use to bring brightness and sweetness to cocktails. Essentially, this is lemon sugar that's more of a thick syrup in texture. It's made by using a peeler to remove the peel of six lemons in wide strips. Next, you place the peels in a bowl and pour a cup of sugar over the top. Use your hands to massage the peels into the sugar for a few minutes, which will help release the essential oils. Let the mixture sit covered on the countertop for at least three hours, or up to a day. The longer it sits, the stronger the lemon flavor will be. What you're left with is a super lemony syrup that will make your lemonade sing. Just add a cup and a half of lemon juice and around six cups of water, then strain, for a drink that's insanely delicious.