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Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is Egg Lemonade?

“What is Egg Lemonade? I saw it mentioned in one of the old Newton Falls Heralds in the Local History Room. Can you find me a recipe for it?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff thought this sounded like an interesting summer beverage. We first searched for books about beverages. The books on the shelf about beverages were bartending ones, and none included this drink. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mixing Drinks by The Players and Alan Axelrod says to avoid using raw eggs in drinks and suggested using powdered egg whites instead. While we don’t yet know if this recipe includes raw eggs; as egg creams do not, it is a good warning to heed.

Cookbooks of older recipes, such as Food in Medieval Times by Melitta Weiss Adamson, The Martha Washington Cookbook by Marie Kimball and The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook by Mary Donovan, did not have Egg Lemonade. The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook did have a recipe for Cider Posset, which included cider, cream, Madeira and eggs. Larousse Gastronomique: the new American edition of the world's greatest culinary encyclopedia had an interesting recipe for eggnog with beer. Even How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman did not have Egg Lemonade.

We were much more successful with our online search. Many sites had recipes for Egg Lemonade. Interestingly enough, it appears that the recipe is a favorite of different ethnic cultures. [a site for Indian foods], Jewish Food Cookbook and Drinks from Denmark all have recipes for this beverage. The basic ingredients in each are sugar, lemons, eggs, and water or soda water.

According to the blog,, the recipe was included in an 1887 collaborative cookbook with the ingredients shaken in a mason jar. A recipe was also published in 1909 in The Good Housekeeping Woman's Home Cook Book []. Nutrition and Dietetics (©1910, 1913) by Winfield S. Hall, PhD., MD. [] recommends Egg Lemonade as part of the treatment of chronic gastritis. Dr. Hall suggests it as one of the foods to be introduced gradually after several days of consuming predigested proteins such as peptonized milk, followed by other liquids, and then foods including Egg Lemonade, broths thickened with cereal, and delicate custards [p.241].
Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher by W. O. Rigby, 19th edition 1919 at has a lengthy list of common egg drinks, including Egg Coffee and Egg Limeade.

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