Five Lemonades To Try in Houston

In triple-digit temperatures, a frosty glass of tangy lemonade can really hit the spot after walking across death valley (re: your office parking lot). And if it's made with real lemons, lemonade is also a good source of Vitamin C and thus a great way to ward off those pesky hot-weather colds. I like regular old lemonade just fine, but for some flavor variety, try these five alternative versions in H-town:

5. Frozen Cherry Lemonade (James Coney Island). This jacked-up lemonade can verge on the sickly sweet; however, if you consume in its intended form (frozen), the sharp ice tones down the saccharine quality. And is it made with real lemons and cherries? Methinks not. But the faux flavor is nevertheless tasty and pleasantly acidic.

4. Irish Lemonade (Hendrick's Pub & Eatery). Made with Jameson whiskey, triple sec, Sprite, and lime juice, Hendrick's Irish Lemonade provides more buzz than hydration. One will refresh you, two won't kill you, three, however, means you've spent more than twenty bucks on "lemonade."

3. Mango Lemonade (Beaucoup Bar & Grill). Beaucoup offers a number of exotic lemonades, including wildberry, peach amaretto, blueberry, and strawberry passion, but there's something special about the mango. Robust in flavor with more than a hint of tartness, the mango lemonade is definitely not for those with an aversion to citrus. Because it's a bit thicker than your average 'ade, I suggest taking sips in between bites of po'boy rather than downing a glass with hot wings.

2. Bottomless Strawberry Lemonade (Irma's Southwest Grill). Though some claim Irma's bottomless fresh fruit lemonade is not "real lemonade" given it's strongly infused with other (non-lemon) fruit, the strawberry flavor still earns a place on this list for its pure quality and lustrous flavors. This rejuvenating beverage is laden with chunks of fresh fruit, so skip the straw lest you miss out on some solid berries. And best of all, for just under four dollars you can drink glass after glass after glass after glass....

1. Ginger Lemonade (Paulie's). Although Paulie's ginger lemonade is spicier than the traditional version, this drink has a remarkable way of refreshing the palate and smoothing the stomach. The pungent notes of ginger stand up well against the bold tart flavor of lemon and together they make for an earthier twist on the original. P.S. I heart Paulie's for allowing customers to serve themselves, which means I can fill up their over-sized glasses with maximal lemonade and minimal ice.

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