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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