Jackie Hope: The best lemonade, found in Dickinson
Know what’s the absolutely best lemonade ever? Nah, not that stuff a guy named Mike makes and calls “hard lemonade.” C’mon, lemonade isn’t hard.
Actually, it is easy: just mix lemons, water and sugar. The only time lemonade gets hard is if you put in too much ice, and it freezes hard. And then you got a slushie, or lemonade cubes, or maybe a lemonade ice sculpture that’s shaped like the inside of your lemonade pitcher.
What? You say Mike has a special ingredient in his lemonade, and that makes it hard even when the stuff is room temperature? Well, never mind about Mike, because we found the best lemonade on the planet!
Our Neighborhood Lemonade Stand was serving up the world’s best pink lemonade a couple weeks ago. Yeah, 2014 vintage pink — the good stuff. So neener, neener, Mike. Bet your lemonade isn’t pink, no matter how hard you try to make it.
Lemonade is not just an American delicacy, either. But in Great Britain they call it lemon squash. Presumably because they squash the lemons to make it. If, instead, they make it from some sort of gourd or cucumber-ish veggie, then that is just nasty. So let’s imagine an English mom squashing up lemons to make a yummy summer drink, and not stuffing a butternut squash into the Cuisinart and then icing down the pulp that comes out.
Actually, lemonade, in Britain, refers to a carbonated lemony drink. Here, we call that stuff 7UP, the uncola. Remember Geoffrey Holder’s, “This is a cola nut. And this is an uncola nut,” commercials for 7UP? Classic Baby Boomer humor — great stuff. Really. Check YouTube. I bet your mama remembers it. And please don’t say it’s your granny that remembers it, instead of your mom. Yes, we know it was aired in the 1970s. Just deal with it, OK?
In India, lemonade is flavored with ginger, and sometimes with garlic and cumin. Kind of like lemonade curry. In the Middle East and parts of Asia, rosewater is added to the lemonade. Ireland has red and brown lemonade. The brown variety is popular around Halloween, when one local company, Cantrell & Cochrane, labels it “Witches’ Brew.” Wiki says so, and you know you believe everything Wiki says.
In France they call American-style lemonade “citronade,” and Sprite and 7UP are generically called lemonade. And in Latvia they have a carbonated soft drink named Limonade, which is the color of American lemonade, but is made with pears. No lemons; no limes; just pears. We didn’t make that up, pair it up with other facts to make it appear true, or read it in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.” They couldn’t call it Pear-ade, because it would sound like a benefit concert for twins, or for finding the lost half of unmatched Latvian socks.
But the best lemonade in the whole world is right here in Dickinson, at the Neighborhood Lemonade Stand. Not only did we get a large glass of that pink nectar, we also snagged an interview with the proprietors, advertising staff and lemonade chefs. Eight kids with a ton of entrepreneurial spirit.
We went right to the CEOs of the business, and found out the bosses were Four Cute Blonde Girls. They were in charge of the money, in charge of the lemonade pitcher and in charge of the Four Energetic Advertising Guys who waved their sign and hailed passers by — including the mailman.
We asked the Four Cute Blonde Girls about the overhead for their enterprise, and found the stand was making 100 percent clear profit, because “we got the lemonade from Mom.” Ah yes, many great companies, including Ford Motors and Walmart, started with mom and pop. These Cute Blonde Girls are onto something!
The Neighborhood Lemonade Stand had been in business for half an hour when we arrived, and the accountant, one of the Four Energetic Advertising Guys, told me they had already made $5.25. Wow, that is like $10.50 per hour, which is way above minimum wage. And if the company reinvested its earnings at 3 percent, by the time the staff was ready for college it would have $7.06. Divided eight ways.
Ah, but if the company invested its $5.25 by betting on World Cup soccer, here is what could have happened. The company could’ve wagered that Uruguay’s star, Luis Suarez, would bite someone during a match — because ol’ Luis is a well-known biter — at the odds of 175-to-1.
Time.com reported a Norwegian betting site, Bettson, offered that wager, and 167 people cashed in. The Neighborhood Lemonade Stand would be standing at $918.75, had they bet on the biter!
We asked Accountant Guy Who is One of the Four Energetic Advertising Guys about profit sharing, but he confided that everyone was working as a volunteer, and they planned to give Grandma Rose their earnings, since they were partnering with her garage sale.
When we questioned Accountant Guy further about perks and bennies, he did say they got all the lemonade they wanted.
Wow, where can we sign on to be part of that staff?
The lemonade level was running low when we left the stand, so we asked for the recipe, to create a pitcher of deliciousness for ourselves. And we were answered with a unanimous, “No!” Because the recipe was secret, special and known only to Mom and the kitchen insiders. Rats!
Word on the street, however, is that there will be iced tea and cookies when the stand reopens. Oh, I am so hoping those cookies are chocolate chip!