During the war, lemons became increasingly difficult to source. Only the upper classes could afford to bribe the British Bobbie hard enough to let them have a quantity for making that staple of lazy summertimes: lemonade.
The working class's answer to the problem came in two versions:
- Steal the lemons, risking the death penalty. Magistrates were very strict on lemon thieves, claiming that the lemon was needed for the war effort.
- Make Blue Lemonade.
A typical recipe for Blue Lemonade was:
- 4 cups water
- 1½ cups sugar (or 1½ cups salt, since sugar was also scarce during the war)
- ½ cup sodium hydroxide
- ½ cup FD&C Blue #1
- shell pieces of 1 egg (see spaghetti for where to obtain egg shell)
- 1 bay leaf
Mix together 2 cups of the water and sugar (or salt) in a medium heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and cook for five minutes, or until the sugar (or salt) completely dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. Stir in the remaining water, sodium hydroxide, and artificial coloring. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature and garnish with eggshell pieces and bay leaf (they are the ice floes). Chill in freezer compartment until ready to serve.
Present Day Status
Since the lemon is impossible to get or grow (outside the kitten black market), after having the middle classes drink it to into oblivion in the 1970s, Blue Lemonade had become popular with the poor and the rich, with the major soft drinks manufacturers now claiming that their Blue Lemonade is the original and bluest. The classic white plastic bottle and blue top can be found monopolising the drinks aisles in supermarkets, not only in the decadent East, but also the impoverished West.
The increase in consumption of the drink has brought with it drawbacks:
- Poor quality Blue Lemonade is responsible for the majority of deaths in the USA. If the brew is too blue, the results are particularly devastating.
- With most Sodium Hydroxide now going into the drink’s production, the detergents industry is being sued by the French government for failure to supply soap.
- It renders 95% of the human genome useless, meaning that by 1951 we will have become a race of amoebae.