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Gadgets can ease the work involved in homemade lemonade

Whenever I walk into a restaurant and find fresh lemonade on the menu, I get little butterflies in my stomach. Nothing is as refreshing as a tall glass of the sweet-and-sour beverage. Scratch that. Nothing is as refreshing as a just-squeezed glass of the sweet-and-sour beverage.

Homemade lemonade is a precious commodity these days, when the drink can be easily purchased in a can or obtained from a soda fountain. Don't get me wrong, any lemonade is better than no lemonade, but there's something special about knowing your drink was made from real lemons, merely moments ago.

Of course, I'm much too busy (read: slightly too lazy) to sit down and squeeze a bunch of lemons for one glass of goodness. Apparently, lots of other people are in the same boat, as there are several lemonade makers on the market just waiting to do the work for you.

Presto is aiming to satisfy summer taste buds in a snap with the HomeAde electric lemonade maker. Juice is squeezed into a pitcher, with seeds and pulp filtered out. Then, a motorized paddle simultaneously mixes two quarts of lemon juice with ice and other ingredients. Clear markings on the pitcher show exactly how much water is needed, and a serving cover replaces the juicer top for easy pouring. All the maker's parts disassemble, and the stirring paddle can be removed for convenient cleaning. Retailing for $39, the lemonade maker is sold at area home and department stores.

Holding 2.5 quarts of lemonade, the Salton LM8 Lemonader has a high enough capacity to quench the thirst of even the driest of drinkers. A citrus reamer built into the top of the unit squeezes juice directly into the carafe, and the bidirectional juicing mechanism makes sure every last drop is squeezed out. The pitcher and all parts are removable and dishwasher-safe. Included with the Lemonader is a recipe booklet filled with lemonade concoction ideas. Retailing for $19.99, the Lemonader is sold at home and department stores.

Bring back the traditional of yesteryear for today's tykes with Sassafras Enterprises' Lemonade Stand Mini Kit. The kit comes with everything your kids need to set up their first entrepreneurial adventure. Included in the set is a lemonade drink mix, lemon cookie mix, flower cookie cutter, wooden spoon, lemonade stand banner, lemonade stand price sheet and lemonade hat. So no, it's not freshly squeezed juice, but it is super cute. Retailing for $14, the kit is sold at select toy stores and online at www.kidsbaking.com.

Anna Ferguson is a staff writer for the Daily Post.

E-mail her at anna.ferguson @gwinnettdailypost.com.