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When God gives you Lemons make Lemonada (Lemon Squash) and of course Brandy Sour



“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”.  So true.   In real life, when things turn sour, we should do out best and try to make them sweet.  But when your neighbour gives you tons of lemons what should you do with them, apart from the obvious lemonade?

I had lots of lemons at home left from last Tuesday when I visited the farmers’ market and I didn’t know what to do with them. I had two alternatives about the lemon juice. I would either put it into ice cubes to freeze it, to be used whenever I needed some (but I usually have a lot of lemon ice cubes in the refrigerator) or I would make lemon squash, which we used to make and drink in Cyprus and had this in mind for a long time now to make. I wasn’t sure what to make with the peels, a spoon sweet, a liquer or maybe both?

I have never made Limoncello before but this is something I also want to make soon but I was not ready for it yet. Eventually I decided to prepare a lemon spoon sweet, as I did with the bergamot a few months ago and I started cutting the lemon peels the same way.   I wasn’t lucky as the peels were very thin so they were not suitable for the spoon sweet.  (See more recipes in my other blog).

I gave it a quick thought and said to myself “Why not?” I would experiment and make lemon marmalade.

The lemons I had were about 2 kilos and they made 500 ml of juice. I strained it and placed it into a pot with sugar.  It’s so simple that I can hardly call this a recipe by here it is:

How to make Homemade Lemon Squash


  • 500 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups  sugar


  1. Put both ingredients in a pot and mix it with a wooden spoon for the sugar to dissolve.
  2. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 6 – 7  minutes.  Remove any froth forming on top with a slotted spoon.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  
  4. Store in glass bottles in the refrigerator, upto 1 year.

Now, it’s ready to be used as a nice quenching drink for the hot, summer days ahead of us.


Homemade Lemonada (Lemonade)


  • 84 ml (3 oz) concentrated lemon juice (or more/less on how sweet you like it)
    Cold water
    Ice cubes
    Slice of lemon


Add cold water or soda to concentrated lemon squash, ice cubes, decorate with a slice of  lemon, stirand enjoy!

I also remembered a cocktail which was very popular in Cyprus called Brandy Sour.

The production of brandy on Cyprus began in the year 1871 by ETKO (the oldest surviving distiller on the island) following their importation of a pot still from Cognac in 1868. Data coming from the English explorer Samuel Baker revealed that in 1875 the volume of native brandy production in the Limassol District alone amounted to 467,711 okes. Since then it has become popular amongst locals and dozens of companies (mostly in the Limassol district) currently distil it. It differs from other European varieties of brandy (35% – 60% alcohol) in that its alcohol concentration is 32%  and most varieties have a distinctly sweet aftertaste. Production is usually by double distillation of xynisteri based white wines with aging in oak barrels. Cypriot brandy forms the base for the Brandy Sour cocktail, in addition to locally-produced lemon cordial, that has been cited as the national drink of Cyprus.  Source:  Wikipedia

Depending on the age of the brandy they are labeled accordingly.   V.S.O.P. means “Very Superior Old Pale” or 5-Star, aged at least five years in wood.

Although Branndy is typically taken as an after-dinner drink, in Cyprus the lighter brandy is drunk with food, just like any other wine.

Brandy Sour recipe

2 oz of  KEO V.S.O.P. brandy
3 oz of lemon squash
Ice cubes (plus water or soda optional)
A slice of lemon
2-4 drops of bitters (Angostura or Cypriot Cock Drops brands)
Sugar for the top of the glass


Wet the glass with the slice of lemon and dip into some sugar.

Add brandy, lemon squash and mix.Add ice cubes and decorate with the lemon slice and serve.

If you like you can add some cold water as well for a milder version.

Note:  (1 oz = 28 ml)


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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17 Responses

  1. Rosie

    Hi Ivy, I just adore fresh homemade lemon juice the clean taste as it hits the palate is amazing! What a great recipe and you spoil us more with Brandy sour too 🙂 Wonderful post and Photos!

    I will be watching this space for your Limoncello recipe 🙂

    Rosie x

  2. Peter G

    Very refreshing Ivy!

  3. Anamika:The Sugarcrafter

    hi ivy
    cheers to your fresh homemade lemonade..

  4. Bellini Valli

    I wish that I was hopping on a plane so that we would be sipping Brandy Sours overlooking Athens and then jetting off to Cyprus sis:D As an aside I am so glad you enjoyed the Greek Spinach Salad..beets are my favourite in salads too:D

  5. Susan

    Luminous drinks, Ivy! Thanks for joining in WHB!

    (Just saw your bergamot liqueur – wow!)

  6. Passionate baker...& beyond

    Now that’s what I call quenching thirst!! How fresh that sounds Ivy!!

  7. Lulu

    Yay! Food blogging is thirsty work, let’s drink!

  8. Cakelaw

    This drink looks very refreshing. Never had a brandy sour before, but I now have a mind to try one!

  9. inside the box

    Looking foward to making this since it will be 80 degrees this weekend! I made potpie and dumplings last night. I was trying to scroll back through your posts – but there are alot of them! dD you do anything different with dumplings in Greece?

  10. Home Theater

    Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Home Theater, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://home-theater-brasil.blogspot.com. A hug.

  11. Emiline

    I want that! SERIOUSLY. It looks so refreshing…and lemony.

  12. Mike of Mike's Table

    There’s nothing worse than when you get some fruit-based drink and its very clear that no actual fruit is involved. This on the other hand, looks fantastic and much more like my kind of drink, especially with summer right around the corner!

  13. Ivy

    Thanks everybody for commenting. Sorry I couldn’t comment back to each one individually.

  14. Núria

    You are so daring preparing all these drinks and liquors… I never thought about doing it myself… but it looks so good and refreshing 😀

  15. Maria V

    home made lemonada is my absolute favorite drink (next to visinada)

  16. Kalyn

    Sounds very tasty and refreshing.

  17. very refreshing, perfect for a hot day!
    My recent post parfait cu fructe de padure ice cream parfait with berries