Is This the Secret Ingredient Behind Chick-fil-A’s Perfect Lemonade?
As any Chick-fil-A aficionado will tell you, the best way to wash down a Chick-fil-A Spicy Deluxe is with a glass of their freshly made lemonade. It’s perfectly balanced sweet and tart flavors make it a refreshing choice, especially when your mouth is on fire from a Spicy Deluxe.
Chick-fil-A’s lemonade has just three ingredients—water, sugar, and fresh squeezed lemons (not concentrate), mixed together and made daily at each location. However, if you have tried to recreate the flavor of Chick-fil-A’s lemonade at home, it’s hard to replicate, even if you’re following the recipe laid out in their behind-the-scenes video. It just never quite tastes the same as when you pick it up from the drive-thru. What aren’t they telling us? Thank goodness for internet sleuths who may have unearthed the chain’s citrusy secret.
Turns out that the secret to Chick-fil-A’s lemons aren’t just your average supermarket citrus. According to the Stockpiling Moms blog, a clever lemonade fan obtained the secret recipe while visiting the Chick-fil-A corporate offices and Chick-Fil-A uses only Sunkist brand lemons.
WATCH: Here's How Chick-fil-A Makes Perfectly Crispy Chicken
That detail was confirmed by Chick-fil-A’s own site The Chicken Wire. In a post called, “When Life Hands You Lemons”, they explained that they are big fans of Sunkist’s lemons. In fact, they buy more lemons from Sunkist than anyone in the world, and in 2015, purchased more lemons from Sunkist than the entire country of Japan. Chick-fil-A needs that many lemons, because they serve some 121 million cups of lemonade each year, requiring them to purchase 250 million lemons.
So if you head to the supermarket and buy Sunkist lemons, will you be able to whip up a batch of Chick-fil-A’s lemonade whenever you want? Maybe. The author at Recipe for Perfection called up her local branch of the chicken sandwich purveyors for additional guidance. She discovered that each restaurant has taps for both regular and filtered water and the lemonade is always made with filtered water. She then gave the recipe a test drive using filtered water, Sunkist lemons, and pure cane sugar, and deemed it a success.
The next time you’re hankering for a glass of Chick-fil-A’s lemonade, but can’t make it to their restaurant, try whipping up a batch of your own.