The Zesty Tip That Takes TikTok's Viral Lemonade To The Next Level

Picture this: It's a muggy, scorching hot day. Sweat is dripping down your forehead, and your lips are parched. You're in dire need of a drink. Luckily, there's a lemonade stand right around the corner offering cups of lemonade.

For many, lemonade is the go-to refresher during the summer. In fact, the drink is believed to have originated in Egypt in the 1300s, according to the Museum of Ventura County. It wasn't until 1838, when lemonade made its way to the United States, that the first recipe was published for iced lemonade, consisting of lemons and egg whites. The temperance movement further popularized lemonade when advocates pushed lemonade as a replacement alcohol.

Not only is lemonade refreshing to many, but it is also a source of a plethora of health benefits, per Nourish by WebMD. Lemons are packed with fiber, iron as well as vitamin C, which can prevent cell damage. It's safe to say lemonade is a classic summer drink. If you're looking to elevate your next pitcher of lemonade, there's a simple ingredient you should add that is all the talk on TikTok.

Add lemon zest for utmost lemon flavor

TikTok food personality @carolinagelen, or Carolina Gelen, knows a thing or two about food. With over 400,000 followers, she posts unique recipes and how-tos, such as vodka butter and tiramisu espresso martinis. However, Gelen isn't just sharing things she finds online. In fact, according to her website, she often develops her own recipes. In June 2022, she went viral for sharing a thirst-quenching tip that takes the citrusy summer drink to the next level.

The simple trick lies in the lemon itself. As Gelen explains on TikTok and Instagram, to get that intense lemon flavor, add lemon zest to sugar. In the video, Gelen can be seen rubbing lemon zest in sugar between her fingers. According to Gelen, rubbing lemon zest and sugar together for two to three minutes helps extract the lemon's natural oils. Adding lemon zest and sugar mix to your lemonade recipe can make for the "lemonest" lemonade.

As it turns out, science actually backs up Gelen's claims. Jason Hawk, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education tells Insider that lemon zest's acidity "helps balance flavor in food, makes food taste more vibrant, and kickstarts saliva production in your mouth."

Other TikTok lemonade concoctions

Carolina Gelen's lemonade recipe has taken the internet by storm. Since she posted it on June 12, 2022, the TikTok video has since garnered more than 3 million views and 305,000 likes. On Instagram, the reel has received over 30 million views and more than 1.4 million likes. Fellow TikTokers offered suggestions in the comments to zest up lemonade even further by adding mint, yuzu zest, vanilla extract, or even a pinch of sea salt.

Notably, Gelen's version of lemonade isn't the first citrus drink to go viral. Other lemonade recipes have previously lit social media ablaze. Ever since the dalgona coffee came onto the scene, it seems social media can't get enough of whipped drinks. In fact, the whipped lemonade emerged as a frothy take on the classic, summery drink. In 2020, TikTok user @goldenxclouds went viral for creating whipped strawberry lemonade. The drink consists of lemonade plus a foam mixture of whipping cream and Kool-Aid mix that is frothed and added on top of the lemonade.

Similarly, in 2021, TikToker @feelgoodfoodie helped popularize Brazilian lemonade, which the TikTok community coined as "creamy lemonade." In the video, Feel Good Foodie added sweetened condensed milk to the lemonade mixture, creating a creamy rendition of lemonade.

If these recipes aren't enough, you could try using Gelen's lemon zest tip to add more zest to these lemonade creations.