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From Gin Punch to Collins – Part 4: The true origin of lemonade


When looking at the lemonade, the question has arisen as to where it really originated. Interesting similarities with the origin of punch emerge when answering this question. It is therefore worthwhile to look into this in more detail, because the insights gained from this are also important for the history of punch.

Previously we had written that lemonade is said to have come to England from Italy via France. But where does lemonade originally come from? Its origin is not in Italy, but somewhere else. Like punch, lemonade probably originated on the Indian subcontinent. What is the evidence for this? To answer this question, let us first look at where lemons come from and how they originated.

The origin of the lemon

Pedigree of the citrus fruits.
Pedigree of the citrus fruits. [18]
The three original types of citrus fruit are mandarin, pomelo and citron. [11]

The mandarin probably originated in north-eastern India or south-western China. [39] The origin of the pomelo is in tropical Southeast Asia. [40] The citron comes from Assam at the foot of the Himalayas. It is already mentioned in the Vedas, a sacred text written in Sanskrit from the 8th century BC. [11] [35-129] The bitter orange probably originated in southern China as a hybrid of pomelo and mandarin. The lemon in turn originated as a hybrid of bitter orange and citron, probably in northern India. The first reliable evidence comes from China and Europe around the year 1000. [17] [35-129]

One must therefore distinguish between the citron and the lemon. In German, both have also been called lemons (Zitronatzitrone and Zitrone, to be more precise) since the late Middle Ages, but in other languages a more precise distinction is made.

The citron gets its name from the Greek word “kedros”, κέδρος, denoting a cedar. This gave rise to the Latin word “citrus”. Another Latin spelling, citreum, was in turn adopted by the Greeks as “kitrion”. The Spanish cidra, Old French citre, French citron, Italian cedro and cedrato are also derived from this Latin name. The lemon is called nimbuka in Indian. It became Persian limûn, Arabic laimûn, and it is also the origin of the modern Greek leimonion, Spanish limon, Italian limone, French limon, English lemon and German limone. In Italian, French and German, however, both fruits are often confused in their names. [30] [31-101] [33-338] [38-115]

Even in the Sanskrit translation, there is not always a clear separation. For example, some say that the lemon should be called “Nimbooka” in Sanskrit, while the citron is called “Beejapoora”. [35-130] This statement thus contradicts the above indications of the origin of the name. In this context, another book provides information and describes how the individual citrus species were named in Sanskrit by different authors. Citrus acida is thus called Jambira, Limpáka, Nimbuka, Vijapura, Madhukarkatiká. Citrus medica as Matulunga and Karuná. Citrus autranticum as Nágaranga. [37-126] [37-127] Exemplarily, this book also states that the Sanskrit name karuná nimbu is considered by some as Citrus decuma or Citrus medica or Citrus limonum. [37-127] We can learn from this that it is probably not clear how the species mentioned in Sanskrit should be classified. In any case, it is clear that nimbuka means a lemon-like citrus fruit, be it the citron or the lemon.

The name in many languages goes back to this Sanskrit word, because Sanskrit is to South Asia what Latin is to Europe. Sanskrit is understood to mean various forms of ancient Indian. Its oldest form is found in the Vedas, which originated around 1500 BC. Classical Sanskrit originated around 400 BC.. [24]

Lemonade, 1663 in Delhi

François Bernier: Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668. 1891. Page 241.
François Bernier: Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668. 1891. Page 241. [10-241]

Having established that citron and lemon are probably of north Indian origin, we should not be surprised that lemonade was drunk in Delhi in 1663, especially as Delhi is also in the north of India. A letter written in Delhi on 1 July 1663 states: “Suppose one just returned on horseback, half dead with heat and dust, and drenched, as usual, in perspiration; and then imagine the luxury of squeezing up a narrow dark stair-case to the fourth or fifth story, there to remain almost choked with heat. In the Indies, there is no such troublesome task to perform. You have only to swallow quickly a draught of fresh water, or lemonade; to undress; wash face, hands, and feet, and then immediately drop upon a sofa in some shady place, where one or two servants fan you with their great panhas or fans.[10-241]

François Bernier: Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668. 1891. Page 253.
François Bernier: Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668. 1891. Page 253. [10-253]

The liquor peculiar to this country is Arac, a spirit drawn by distillation from unrefined sugar; the sale of which is also strictly forbidden, and none but Christians dare openly to drink it. Arac is a spirit as harsh and burning as that made from corn in Poland, and the use of it to the least excess occasions nervous and incurable disorders. A wise man will here accustom himself to the pure and fine water, or to the excellent lemonade,3 which costs little and may be drunk without injury.” [10-253]

The accompanying footnote from 1891 notes: 3 Made ordinarily of squeezed limes and water, the nimbú (lime) paní (water) of the present day. For those who could afford it, there were various sherbets; rose water and sugar being added to the juice of limes, pomegranates, and the like.[10-253]

François Bernier: The history of the late revolution of the empire of the Great Mogul.1672. Page 3-4.
François Bernier: The history of the late revolution of the empire of the Great Mogul.1672. Page 3-4. [42-3] [42-4]

This letter was already translated into English and printed in 1676. This translation therefore differs slightly and is also quoted here for the interested reader: “And who is there (I pray) that would have a mind in Summer, when he returns on horseback from the City half dead, and in a manner stifled of the heat and dust, and all in a sweat, (for so it is) to go climbing up an high pair of staires, which often is narrow and dark, to a fourth or fifth story, and to abide in this hot and suffocating air? On such occasions they desire nothing, but to throw down into the stomack a pint of fresh water, or lemonade, to undress, to wash the face, hands and feet, to lie down in some cool and shady place all along, having a servant or two to fan one by turns with their great Panhas, or Fans.[42-3] [42-4]

François Bernier: The history of the late revolution of the empire of the Great Mogul.1672. Page 27-28.
François Bernier: The history of the late revolution of the empire of the Great Mogul.1672. Page 27-28. [42-27] [42-28]

That which is of this Countreys growth is called Arac, a ftrong water made of Sugar not refined, and even this is expresly prohi- bited to be sold, and there are none but Christians that dare drink of it, except others do it by stealth. This is a drink very hot and penetrant, like the Brandy made of Corn in Poland. It so falls upon the nerves, that it often causeth shaking hands in those that drink a little too much of it, and cafts them into incurable maladies. Here we must accustome our selves to fair and good Water, and to Lemonade, which is excellent, and may be made with small charges, and doth not spoil the stomach.[42-27] [42-28]

We can conclude from these lines that in 1663 lemonade was virtually an everyday drink in India.

But was lemonade also invented in India? Some authors report that the first recipe for a kind of lemonade is said to have come from Egypt. The Persian poet Nasir-I-Khusraw wrote around 1050 about everyday life in Egypt and about a drink called “qatarmizat“, consisting of lemon juice sweetened with sugar from sugar cane, [12] [15] [16] other sources speak of lemon, date and honey. [14] [16] The first recipe is said to have been published in the 13th century in an Arabic cookbook. [12]

So is lemonade an Egyptian invention? What do Indian sources say?

Indian drinks

In India, people traditionally drink Shikanji, also called Shikanjvi, Shikanjbi or Shikanjbeen. This drink is a lemonade that originates from northern India and is particularly popular there. It often contains additional ingredients and spices such as salt, saffron, amchur, ginger or cumin and is garnished with mint, for example. There are many different versions. For example, it is prepared as follows: from the squeezed juice of two lemons, a small piece of ginger, one to two teaspoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. [14] [20] [22]

The aforementioned Nimbu Pani, literally translated as “lemon water”, is a lemonade in India traditionally made from water, lemon, sugar, cumin, black pepper and mint. [21] Salt and ginger can also be an ingredient. [14]

Can one perhaps also find references to such lemonades in ancient sources? Since when have such drinks been prepared in India?

An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita. 1907. Page 542-543.
An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita. 1907. Page 542-543. [28-542] [28-543]

The Sushrata Samhita is a treatise on medicine and surgery written in Sanskrit from the 4th century. [27] In the Sushruta Samhita there is a very interesting recipe. It is written: “The Pánakas:—Well diluted treacle (Pánaka), no matter whether it has been rendered acid or not with the admixture of Amla (lemon juice), is diuretic and heavy in respect of digestion. Water saturated with treacle, Khanda (unrefined sugar), sugar or grapes, and made acid with the admixture of any acid substance, and scented with camphor, should be deemed the best of refreshing beverages.[28-542] [28-543]

So we see that as early as the 4th century, a mixture of water, sugar and an acid source (read: lemon juice) was mixed with camphor and drunk. What is camphor? The camphor tree, Cinnamomum camphora, belongs to the same genus as the cinnamon tree. It can grow up to 1500 years old and comes from East Asia. [29]

We may conclude from this source that lemonade has been known and drunk in India for at least 1600 years. We are certainly not wrong in assuming that lemonade has a much longer tradition, since both etymology and botany point to northern India as the origin of the lemon-like fruit; so we may reasonably assume that its consumption has a tradition much older than the oldest surviving written records. Assuming this, this means: Lemonade is probably a North Indian invention and spread from there around the world together with the lemon-like fruits.

Rose water in lemonade

Let’s remember: The 1891 footnote to the 1663 letter quoted above notes: “For those who could afford it, there were various sherbets; rose water and sugar being added to the juice of limes, pomegranates, and the like.” [10-253]

John Francis Gemelli Careri: A voyage round the world. Part 1. 1704. Page 149.
John Francis Gemelli Careri: A voyage round the world. Part 1. 1704. Page 149. [23-149]

So the rich added rose water to their lemonade. We do not know whether this was already the custom in 1663. However, we can strongly suspect that it was, as a book published in 1704 suggests, even though it talks about Persian customs: “They drink a great deal of Limonade, and Rosewater with Sugar-candy.[23-149]

Against this background, we should now consider the question of how rose water came to India.

Rose water is a by-product of the steam distillation of rose petals in the production of rose perfume. The cultivation of fragrant roses as well as the production of perfume and rose water probably originated in Persia. There, rose water was called gulāb, a compound of the words gul (rose) and ab (water). [13] [19] Rose water has been known since at least 1150 and is used today to flavour food, especially in Arabic, Indian, Persian and French cuisine. [19] In India, for example, people flavour a lassi with rose water and call this drink gulabi lassi. This name tells us that etymologically it comes from Persian. In our opinion, this indicates that rose water came to India from Persia.

One may assume that this is related to the Mughal Empire. This is a state that existed on the Indian subcontinent from 1526 to 1858 and whose heartland was in northern India. Delhi is also located there. By the end of the 17th century, the empire encompassed almost the entire subcontinent. The Muslim ruler was called a Mughal, and the language of state and court was Persian, the original mother tongue of the Mughals. [25]

The Punch: A Lemonade?

Mandelslo's Travels into the Indies, 1662, Page 18.
Mandelslo’s Travels into the Indies, 1662, Page 18. [7-18]

So we can well imagine that even in the early days of the Mughal Empire, rose water was drunk and served to foreign guests, why not as lemonade? If we then consider that spices were traditional ingredients of lemonade, all that is needed is the addition of a distillate to make it into a punch. Suddenly, the somewhat unusual recipe for a punch handed down to us by Johann Albrecht von Mandelsloh makes sense. He wrote that punch, which he called palepuntz,  “is a kind of drink consisting of Aquavitae, Rose-water, juice of Citrons and Sugar.” [7-18] We will discuss this in more detail in connection with the Punch.

Christopher Frycke & Christoph Schweitzer: A relation of two several voyages made into the East-Indies. 1700. Page 47.
Christopher Frycke & Christoph Schweitzer: A relation of two several voyages made into the East-Indies. 1700. Page 47. [26-47]

Others before us have already come up with the idea that a punch is nothing other than a kind of lemonade, and we would like to quote from a book of the year 1700, which reports on a journey from 1680 to 1686. The author reports from Batavia, now Indonesia, about palm juice, which was not called toddy there, but suri: “This they call Suri which is to be sold at the Suri-houses, and is a very pretty refreshing Liquor, and extream pleasant; especially when the Weather is hot. With this Liquor they make the best Vinegar, and Arack or Brandy, which goes far beyond our best Rhenish Wine for strength, taste and colour: And mixing it with Water and Wine, with Sugar and Lemonjuice, it makes an excellent sort of Lemonade, which they call Massack and Burabols, but sufficiently known in England by the name of Punch.[26-47]

But what if instead of a distillate, for example arrack, you only used palm wine instead of water? Wouldn’t this lemonade then already be a punch?

Christopher Frycke & Christoph Schweitzer: A relation of two several voyages made into the East-Indies. 1700. Page 189.
Christopher Frycke & Christoph Schweitzer: A relation of two several voyages made into the East-Indies. 1700. Page 189. [26-189]

We can assume that this was done, because in the same travel report it is written that lemonade was also prepared with palm juice: “We caused a Dinner to be got ready for us of what the Country afforded; which was Fish and Fowl, Eggs, Herbs, &c. Our Liquor was Suri, which is a Juice drawn from the Coco-Trees; with that, we made a very good Massack and Lemonade, by the help of some Sugar, Spices, Limons, and Oranges, which we had in good plenty.” [26-189]

Thomas Jefferys: The natural and civil history of the French dominions in North and South America. Part 2. 1761. Page 71.
Thomas Jefferys: The natural and civil history of the French dominions in North and South America. Part 2. 1761. Page 71. [9-71]

Thomas Jefferys, in his book on North and South America published in 1761, also believes that punch is lemonade and writes about Hispaniola, now Haiti and the Dominican Republic: – “Water is the common drink of the Negroes and poor inhabitants, but they may easily change it into lemmonade, since citrons and lemons are to be found every where on the high roads, sugar to be had for three sols a pound, and molasses for a great deal less. … The poor have another great resource in rum, which is both wholesomer and cheaper than brandy; nor would it be a difficult matter to free it from the disagreeable taste of the sugar canes, since Barbadoes water, which is made of it, is quite free from any such flavour. The English make a kind of lemmonade of it, which they call punch, and it may be varied a thousand ways, by adding such ingredients as are either most wholesome, or most agreeable to the palate.[9-71]

French Lemonade Recipes: An Echo of India?

We may state that lemonade has its origin in India and that punch developed from it there. Can we find a trace of the lemonades used there in Europe? One would assume that the first European lemonade recipes that have come down to us were made with water, lemon and sugar. However, this is not so, and it seems that the Indian origin of lemonade finds its echo in the lemonade recipes of the 17th century, as the following texts by weighty authors prove.

Le jardinier françois

The book “Le jardinier françois” was first published in Paris in 1651. The author was the royal valet Nicolas de Bonnefons. There was nothing comparable until then, so his book became a great success. It was translated into other languages. John Evelyn published it under the title “The French Gardener” in 1658 [1] – which means that lemonade already appears in an English-language work in this year, and not in 1663, as is generally stated in the previous post in this series – and it was published by Georg Greflinger in a German translation in Hamburg in 1665.[5] [6]

Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1654. Page 286-287
Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1654. Page 286-287 [34-286] [34-287]

A more modern translation of the original text would be: “Lemonade is made from the inside of lemons; remove the largest peels that separate the seeds, and soak them in clear water: then add powdered sugar to it, the amount you think necessary; and also soak a little broken coriander in it, and enclose it in a small cloth with a piece of cinnamon: Musk & Amber may be added to make it more delicious. You let it steep about half a day, pouring it often from one vessel to another, and squeezing the lemons in it with your hand: you taste it to judge what would be wanting to make it excellent: and after passing it through a cloth, without squeezing out the solid residue; you bottle it to serve to the ladies: this drink does not keep more than three days in its goodness: therefore it is only made when needed. Some people add ground almonds to it; but as it is a drink, the simplest it can be is the best.[34-286] [34-287] See also in the first edition [8-312] [8-313] [8-314]

Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1651. Page 312-314.
Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1651. Page 312-314. [8-312] [8-313] [8-314]

– “La Limonade se fait avec le dedans des Citrons; ostant les plus grosses peaux qui separent les graines, & les mettant tremper en eau claire: puis vous y adjousterez de Sucre en poudre, la quantité que jugerez estre necessaire; & mettrez aussi tremper dedans quelque peu de Coriandre cassée, & enfermée dans un petit linge avec quelque morceau de Canelle: le Musc & l’Ambre y pourront estre ajoutez pour l’assaisonner plus delicieusement. Vous laisserez infuser le tout environ demy jour, le versant souvent d’un vaisseau en un autre, & pressant avec la main les Citrons qui sont dedans: vous y gousterez pour juger ce qui y manqueroit à la rendre excellente: & apres l’avoir passé à travers un linge sans presser le Marc; vous la mettrez dans des Bouteilles pour estre servies aux Dames: cette Boisson ne dure pas plus de trois jours en fa bonté: c’est pourquoy l’on ne la fera qu’au besoin. Il y en a qui y adjoustent les Amandes pilées; mais comme c’est une Boisson, la plus simple qu’elle peut estre est la meilleure.[34-286] [34-287] Siehe auch in der Erstausgabe [8-312] [8-313] [8-314]

This lemonade recipe is interesting because it uses spices such as coriander and cinnamon. You may also use musk and amber to further enhance the flavour. These were valuable things at the time, so this lemonade recipe certainly could not have been prepared in this way by simpler classes of people. But we must not forget that the author was the valet of the French Sun King Louis XIV. In his time, not only was a pompous appearance celebrated, and the palace of Versailles built, [4] but value was certainly also placed on exquisite food and drink. At court, one could afford such lemonade.

Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1654. Page 286
Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1654. Page 286 [34-286]

The simple lemon syrup was also refined accordingly, because the same book says immediately before: “The SIRUP OF LEMONS is made either by infusion or by boiling: by infusion, by adding to a pound of lemon juice two pounds of powdered sugar, and exposing it to the bright sun: By boiling, by adding to one pound of juice one pound and a half of broken sugar, and boiling it a little less than to the consistence of syrup; which is, that given to a plate it will not flow; then press it into glass bottles without a basket, that if it should spoil, it may be put into the sun, or into the oven, after removing the charge of bread: If you wish to add musk & amber, you make it similar to sour cedar juice.” [34-286] See also [8-312]

Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1651. Page 312.
Nicolas de Bonnefons: Le iardenier françois. 1651. Page 312. [8-312]

– “Le SYROP DE LIMONS fe fait ou par infusion, ou par Cuisson: par Infusion, en mettant à une livre de jus de Citron deux livres de Sucre en poudre, & l’exposer au grand Soleil: par cuisson, en mettant à une livre de jus, une livre & demie de Sucre cassé, & le faire cuire un peu moins que jusques à la consistence du Syrop; qui est que le mettant sur une Assiette, il ne coule point; puis vous le serrerez dans des Bouteilles de Verre sans Ozier, afin que s’il vouloit chancir, on le mit au Soleil, ou dans le Four, apres que l’on auroit retire la Fournée de Pain: si vous y voulez adjuster le Musc & l’Ambre-gris, vous le rendrez semblable à l’AIGRE DE CETRE.[34-286] See also [8-312]

As we can see, they allowed themselves the luxury of musk and amber even with a “simple” lemon syrup.

These recipes reveal the spices of India. But what about the rose water? Isn’t that missing? Or was it also used in the preparation of lemonades in Europe?

Le cuisinier françois

The texts of another important person also help to answer these questions. François-Pierre de La Varenne was the most important French chef of the 17th century, and his famous cookbook “Le Cuisinier François”, “The French Chef”, published in 1651, has left its mark on European culinary art to this day. [3] His cookbook was the first to chart the considerable culinary innovations that emerged in France in the 17th century. This book was so successful that it was reprinted in France until 1815 and more than 2500000 copies were sold in some 250 editions. It was also the first cookbook to be translated into English. [2]

In his book published in 1651 – we quote from the second edition of 1652 – François-Pierre de La Varenne writes: “To make lemonade. It is prepared in various ways, according to the variety of ingredients. To make it with jasmine, you must take about as much as you can hold in both hands, put it into two or three pints of water, and leave it there for eight or ten hours, after which you must put six ounces of sugar to a pint of water. The orange, musk rose and clove flowers are made in the same way.[32-342] [32-343]

François Pierre de La Varenne: Le cvisinier francois.1652. Page 342-343.
François Pierre de La Varenne: Le cvisinier francois.1652. Page 342-343. [32-342] [32-343]

– „Pour faire de la limonade. Elle se fait diversement, selon la diversité des ingrediens. Pour la faire avec du jasmin, il en faut prendre environ plein les deux mains, le mettre infuser dans deux ou trois pintes d’eau, & l’y laisser pendant huict ou dix heures, après quoy sur une pinte d’eau vous mettrez six onces de sucre. Celles de fleurs d’orange, de roses muscades, & d’œuillets se sont de mesme. Pour faire celle de citron, prenés des citrons,les coupez, & en tirez le jus, mettez le parmy l’eau comme dessus; pelez un autre citron, le coupez par tranches, le mettez parmy ce jus, & du sucre a proportion. Celle d orange se fait de mesme.[32-342] [32-343]

This is a significant recipe because it refers to the fact that lemonade was also made with flowers. Besides jasmine, roses are also mentioned. Doesn’t this remind us of the addition of rose water in Indian lemonades?

Les délices de la campagne

Let’s talk about another book, also by Nicolas de Bonnefons. In “Les délices de la campagne“, published in 1654, he writes: “Of lemonade. CHAPTER LVI. This drink is quite the contrary of the preceding; for instead of being astringent like the others, this is refreshing; but it has the disadvantage of being kept in its goodness for two days at the most; To make it, take the insides of lemons, sour and sweet, from which you remove the largest peels, which separate the seeds; then throw them by degrees into fine clear water, and add powdered sugar, in such quantity as you think necessary; You will also put in a little broken coriander with a little cinnamon, which you will enclose in a small cloth; you will let the whole infuse about half a day, pouring often from one vessel to another, and squeezing the lemons with your hands; you will strain this lemonade through a cloth, without squeezing the pith, and pour it into bottles; if you wish to add musk and amber to make it more delicious, you may do so. You also make it with bitter oranges or others in the same way as with lemons;[36-84] [36-85]

Nicolas de Bonnefons: Les delices de la campagne. 1654. Page 84-85.
Nicolas de Bonnefons: Les delices de la campagne. 1654. Page 84-85. [36-84] [36-85]

– „De la Limonade. CHAPITRE LVI. CEtte boisson est toute contraire aux precedentes; car au lieu que les autres eschaussent, celle-cy rafraichit; mais elle a ce desavantage qu’elle ne se peut garder que deux jours au plus dans sa bonté; Pour la faire, vous prendrez des dedans de Citrons, aigres & doux, desquels vous ofterez les plus grosses peaux qui separent les graines; puis à mesure vous les jetterez dans de belle Eau claire, & adjousterez du Sucre en poudre, la quantité que vous jugerez y estre necessaire; y mettant aussi un peu du Coriandre con cassée avec quelque peu de Canelle en Baston que vous enfermerez dans un petit noiiet de linge; vous laisserez infuser le tout enuiron l’espace de demy jour, versant & reversant souvent d’un vaisseau dans l’autre, & preffant les Citrons avec les mains; vous passerez cette Limonade à travers un linge sans presser le Marc, & la coulerez dans des bouteilles; si vous voulez y adjouster le Musc & l’Ambre pour la rendre plus delicieuse, à vous permis. Vous en ferez aussi avec les Orenges Bigarades, ou autres de la mesme façon qu’avec des Citrons;[36-84] [36-85]

This is basically the recipe he had already published in 1651. But not everyone could afford all the exquisite ingredients, so we should not be surprised if recipes were soon published that used only lemons and sugar, just as we would prepare it by default today.

Le maistre d’hostel

A recipe we are familiar with appears as early as 1659, in “Le maistre d’hostel”: “Lemonade. Take six lemons, squeeze them & get the juice out of them: put it into a vessel or bowl; add also the juice of three oranges, the peel of half a lemon & that of an orange: put in half a pint of water with half a pound of sugar: pour the whole several times from one vessel into the other till the sugar is dissolved; then pour it through a white cloth & chill it.[41-136]

Anonymus: Le maistre d’hostel. 1859. Page 136.
Anonymus: Le maistre d’hostel. 1659. Page 136. [41-136]

– „Limonade. Ayez six cytrons, pressez-les & en tirez le ius: mettez-le dans vne èguiere ou dans vne terrine; adiouftez-y aussi le ius de trois oranges, l’escorse de la moitie d’vn cystron & celle d’vne orange: Mettez y vne pinte d’eau, auec vne demie liure de sucre: versez le tout d’vn vaisseau dans l’autre plusieurs soisiusques à ce que le sucre soit fondu; cela fait passez le dans vne seruiette blanche, & le faites rafraischir.[41-136]

An echo of the Indian origin of lemonade, namely the use of spices in it, can also be seen in the Oekonomische Encyclopädie by Johann Georg Krünitz. In the year 1800 it says about lemonade: “Others also hang a little brocken coriander and crushed cinnamon tied in a small bag in it right at the beginning, Still others grate two or three grains of musk with six times as much sugar on a grating stone until no more musk is visible, and then add it to the lemonade, which they then pour off several more times.[44-169]

Johann Georg Krünitz: Ökonomisch-technologische Encyclopädie. 79. Theil. 1800, page 169.
Johann Georg Krünitz: Ökonomisch-technologische Encyclopädie. 79. Theil. 1800, page 169. [44-169]

“Andere hängen auch gleich anfangs etwas zerknickten Coriander und gestoßenen Zimmt in ein Säckchen gebunden hinein, und lassen es so einen halben Tag stehen. Noch andere reiben auch noch zwey oder drey Gran Bisam mit sechsmahl so viel Zucker auf einem Reibstein so lange unter einander ab, bis man keinen Bisam mehr sieht, und thun es hernach unter die Limonade, welche sie hierauf noch etliche Mahle abgießen.[44-169]

Soda water?

In the previous post in this series we mentioned that, according to Anistatia Miller, soda water had been used to make lemonade in Paris in 1630 and that this made lemonade even more popular. [43] We wonder now what to make of such popularity, for none of the French lemonade recipes we have quoted here calls for soda water, not even that of the royal valet Nicolas de Bonnefons and that of François-Pierre de La Varenne, the most important French chef of the 17th century. Shouldn’t one expect that these two should at least mention soda water?


So we have now seen that lemonade is probably an Indian invention and that it must have given rise to the punch, and lemonade was also made in Europe in the mid-17th century with spices or flower extracts such as rose water.

We had also dealt with soda water and fizzy lemonade in the previous posts in this series, so in the next post we can finally turn to the Garrick Club’s Gin Punch, because there the Gin Punch was further developed by adding soda water. This innovation quickly became known and was taken up in many places.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Evelyn John Evelyn.
  2. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Pierre_de_La_Varenne François-Pierre de La Varenne.
  3. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois-Pierre_de_La_Varenne François-Pierre de La Varenne.
  4. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_XIV. Ludwig XIV.
  5. https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb11109983?page=54,55&q=Limonade Nicolas de Bonnefons: Der Französische Confitierer, Welcher handelt: Von der Manier / die Früchte in ihrer natürlichen Art zu erhalten. Hamburg, 1665.
  6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_jardinier_fran%C3%A7ois Le jardinier françois.
  7. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.31822038219002&view=1up&seq=478&q1=palepuntz Adam Olearius: The voyages & travels of the ambassadors from the Duke of Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy, and the King of Persia. Begun in the year M.DC.XXXIII. and finished in M.DC.XXXIX. Containing a complete history of Muscovy, Tartary, Persia, and other adjacent countries. With several publick transactions reaching neer the present times; in seven books. London, 1662. Darin: Mandelslo’s Travels into the Indies.
  8. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k105504m/f325.vertical Anonymus (Nicolas de Bonnefons): Le iardenier françois, qui enseigne à cvltiver les arbres, & herbes potageres; auec la maniere de conseruer les fruicts, & faire toutes sortes de confitures, conserues, & massepans. Dedié avx dames. Paris, 1651.
  9. https://archive.org/details/naturalcivilhist00jeff/page/70/mode/2up?q=punch Thomas Jefferys: The natural and civil history of the French dominions in North and South America. Giving a particular account of the climate, soil, minerals, animals, vegetables, manufactures, trade, commerce, and languages, together with the religion, government, genius, character, manners and customs of the Indians and other inhabitants. Part II. Containing Part of the islands of St. Domingo and St. martin, the islands of St. bartholomew, Guadeloupe, Martinico, La Grenade, and the island and colony of Cayenne. London, 1761.
  10. https://archive.org/details/dli.pahar.0005/page/241/mode/2up?q=lemonade François Bernier: Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668. Westminster, 1891.
  11. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zitronatzitrone Zitronatzitrone.
  12. https://www.forgottenhistory.me/miscellaneous/the-history-of-lemonade The History of Lemonade.
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_water Rose water.
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemonade Lemonade.
  15. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/81978/14-tart-facts-about-lemonade Garrett Williams: 14 Tart Facts About Lemonade. 5. Juli 2016.
  16. http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/topic_id/17/id/95/ History of Lemonade.
  17. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zitrone Zitrone.
  18. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zitrusfrucht-Stammbaum.svg Genetischer Stammbaum einiger wichtiger Zitrusfrüchte.
  19. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenwasser Rosenwasser.
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikanjvi Shikanjvi.
  21. https://www.bettertogetherbc.ca/blog/single/10-ways-to-lemonade-the-fascinating-history-of-lemonade-and-how-to-make-you 10 ways to lemonade: the fascinating history of lemonade and how to make your own. 5. July 2018.
  22. https://www.thebetterindia.com/144991/shikanji-street-drink-rahul-gandhi/ Sanchari Pal: An Ode to Shikanji, The ‘Desi’ Street Drink That Is Also a Cultural Gem! 12. June 2018.
  23. https://archive.org/details/dli.csl.5484/page/n151/mode/2up?q=limonade John Francis Gemelli Careri: A voyage round the world. Part 1. [London, 1704]
  24. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit Sanskrit.
  25. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogulreich Mogulreich.
  26. https://archive.org/details/relationoftwosev00fric/page/46/mode/2up?q=lemonade Christopher Frycke & Christophr Schewitzer [Schweitzer]: A relation of two several voyages made into the East-Indies. The whole Containing An Exact Account of the Customs, Dispositions, Manners, Religion, &c. of the several Kingdoms and Dominions in those Parts of the World in General: But in a more particular manner, Describing those Countries which are under the Power and Government of the Dutch. London, 1700.
  27. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushruta_Samhita Sushruta Samhita.
  28. https://archive.org/details/dli.csl.6360/page/n633/mode/2up Kaviraj Kunja Lal Brishagratna (Hrsg.): An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita based on orginal Sanskrit text. Vol. 1. Sutrasthanam. Calcutta, 1907.
  29. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kampferbaum Kampferbaum.
  30. https://archive.org/details/dli.bengal.10689.8551/page/n511/mode/2up?q=lemon Kaviraj Kunja Lal Brishagratna (Hrsg.): An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita based on orginal Sanskrit text. Vol. 3. Uttara-Tantra. Calcutta, 1916.
  31. https://archive.org/details/monthlypacket26unkngoog/page/n107/mode/2up?q=nimbuka Charlotte M. Yonge (Hrsg.): The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Members of the English Church. Vol. XXX, July-December 1880. London, 1880.
  32. https://archive.org/details/lecuisinierfranc00lava/page/342/mode/2up François Pierre de La Varenne: Le cvisinier francois, enseignant la maniere de bien apprester & assaisonner toutes sortes de viandes, grasses & maigres, legumes, patisseries, &c. Reueu, corrigé, & augmenté d’vn traitté de confitures seiches & liquides, & autres delicatesses de bouche. Ensemble d’vne table alphabetique des matieres qui sont traittées dans tout le liure. Seconde edition. Paris, 1652.
  33. https://archive.org/details/reportofcommissi1860uni/page/338/mode/2up?q=nimbuka F. Unger: On the proncipal plants used as food by man. Sketch of the plants chiefly used as food by man, in different parts of the world and at various periods. Translated from the German for this report. In: Report of the commissooner of patents for the year 1859. Washington, 1860.
  34. https://archive.org/details/ned-kbn-all-00002902-001/page/n322/mode/2up?q=Limonade Anonymus (Nicolas de Bonnefons): Le iardenier françois, qui enseigne à cultiver les arbres, & herbes potageres; avec la maniere de conserver les fruicts, & faire toutes sortes de confitures, conserves, & massepans. Dedié avx dames. Cinqviesme edition. Amsterdam, 1654.
  35. https://archive.org/details/dli.pahar.0229/page/123/mode/2up?q=%22orange+tribe%22 J. Forbes Royle: Illustrations of the botany and other branches of the natural history of the Himalayan mountains, and of the flora of Cashmere. Vol. 1. London, 1839.
  36. https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_8RKWuTLrZFYC/page/n115/mode/2up?q=limonade R.D.C.D.W.B.D.N. (Nicolas de Bonnefons): Les delices de la campagne. Suitte du iardinier françois ov est enseigné a preparer pour l’vsage de la vie tout ce qui croist sur la terre et dans les eaux. Dedié aux dames mesnageres. Paris, 1654.
  37. https://archive.org/details/materiamedicaofh00duttuoft/page/126/mode/2up?q=nimbuka Udoy Chand Dutt: The materia medica of the Hindus, compiled from sanskrit medical works. Calcutta, 1877.
  38. https://archive.org/details/pharmacographiah01unse/page/114/mode/2up?q=nimbuka Friedrich A. Flückiger & Daniel Hanbury: Pharmacographia. A history of the principal drugs of vegetable origin, met with in Great Britain and British India. London, 1879.
  39. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarine Mandarine.
  40. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pampelmuse Pampelmuse.
  41. https://archive.org/details/lemaistredhostel00unse/page/136/mode/2up?q=Limonade Anonymus: Le maistre d’hostel qvi apprend l’ordre de bien servir svr table & d’y ranger les seruoces. Ensemble le sommelier qvi enseigne la maniere de bien plier le linge en plusieurs figures. Et à faire toutes sortes de confitures, tant seiches que liquides. Comme aussi toutes sortes de dragées, & autres gentillesses fort vtiles à tout le monde. Paris, 1659.
  42. https://archive.org/details/historyoflaterev34bern/page/n25/mode/2up?q=lemonade Anonymus (François Bernier): The history of the late revolution of the empire of the Great Mogul together with the most considerable passages for 5 years following in that Empire. Band 3 & 4: A continuation of the memories of Monsieur bernier, concerning the empire of the Great Mogol: wherein is contained 1. An exact description of Dehli and Agra, the capital cities of the empire of the Great Mogol, together with some particulars, making known the court and genius of the Mogols and Indians; as also the doctrine, and extravagant superstitions and customs of the heathen of Indostan. 2. The emperour of Mogol’s voyage to the Kingdom of Kachemire, in the Year 1664. 3. A Letter, written by the author to M. Chapelle, touching his design of returning, after all his peregrinations, to his stuies; where he taketh occasion to discourse of the doctrine of atoms, and the nature of the unerstanding of man. London, 1672.
  43. https://theconversation.com/five-historical-summer-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-187472 Anistatia Miller: Five historical summer drinks to keep you cool. 1. August 2022.

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Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.