Chocolate milk doesn't come from brown cows, but does pink lemonade come from pink lemons? Known as the variegated pink lemon or the variegated eureka lemon, this citrus fruit features a pink flesh with a striped green and yellow rind. Discovered on an ordinary eureka lemon tree in Burbank, California in 1931, pink lemons today are commercially grown and have made their way to Trader Joe's.
What are Pink Lemons?
Highly fragrant, this citrus fruit is less acidic and sweeter than their regular lemon counterparts. The citrus limon variegated pink Eureka lemon evolved naturally and contains a higher concentration of lycopene, the same compound that makes tomatoes red and grapefruits pink. The lemon flavor is predominant and makes a great lemonade. But did you know pink lemons were discovered almost 100 years after pink lemonade was created?
The Origin of Pink Lemonade
According to the Smithsonian Magazine and Josh Chetwynd, author of the New York Times best-selling How the Hot Dog Got its Bun: Accidental Discoveries And Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat And Drink, there are two possible origins of the citrus drink. The first shares the story of Henry E. Allott, a Chicago boy who ran away to join the circus. One day he accidentally dropped red-colored cinnamon candies in a large tub of prepared lemonade. He sold the beverage and coined it pink lemonade.
The other story is also from the circus. George and Pete Conklin were selling lemonade at the circus one day when they needed to make up another batch on the fly. They grabbed some water (which happened to be dirty from a performer wringing out their pink tights) and used it in their lemonade and called it strawberry lemonade. From then on, no circus was complete without pink lemonade.
The pink lemons are now available at select Trader Joe's markets and make great additions to cocktails, drinks, and desserts. Or if you live in an area that's good for growing citrus trees, you can grow pink lemon trees as part of a container garden. It needs full sun and water once a week.
Watch: Lemon Drop Moonshine + Arnold Palmer