Food + Drink

This is the actual recipe for Beyoncé’s lemonade

Sweet and sour


By Rachel Au

This is the actual recipe for Beyoncé’s lemonade

In true Queen Bey fashion, Beyoncé recently unveiled her HBO special which turned out to be her new visual album titled Lemonade and it has taken the world by storm. Everyone is talking about it and asking questions. The album touches on racial injustice, love, family, marriage, and infidelity yet why is it called Lemonade? As most people have guessed, it’s a reference to the popular old adage that “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and it’s half true except it’s something a little closer to Beyhive’s heart—her late grandmother, Agnéz Deréon. 


Between songs, Beyoncé includes some poetic interludes that match the themes of the album. In the last section of the album, called “Redemption”, one of them mentions a family lemonade recipe that also serves as a metaphor for the healing power love and family can have and personal strife because of the amount of effort and patience needs to properly strain a good glass of lemonade: 


Take one pint of water 

add half pound of sugar 

the juice of 8 lemons 

the zest of half lemon 

pour the water from one jug then into the other several times 

strain through a clean napkin 

grandmother the alchemist 

you spun gold out of this hard life 

conjured beauty from the things left behind 

found healing where it did not live 

discovered the antidote in your own kitchen 

broke a curse with your own two hands 

you passed these instructions down to your daughter 

who then passed it down to her daughter 

my grandma said nothing real can be threatened 

true love brought salvation back into me 

with every tear came redemption 

and my torturer became my remedy.


The film then cuts to a home video of her grandmother’s 90th birthday where she says, “I was served lemons, but made lemonade.” And that inspiration is worth drinking to—with a tempting glass of lemonade based on Beyoncé’s family recipe, of course. 



1 pint of water (2 cups)

1/2 pounds of sugar (approximately 227g)

Zest of half a lemon

Juice of 8 lemons



1. Add all the ingredients into a jug

2. Transfer to a separate jug and pour back and forth until everything is mixed together 

3. Strain the mixture with a clean napkin and serve. 


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