Allott, his obituary was published in The New York Times. That piece, published on September 18, 1912, also describes him as the man who invented pink lemonade. Another carny named Pete Conklin is also credited as being an inventor, at least according to his brother George. Supposedly in 1857, Pete ran out of lemonade and decided to use a dirty tub of water as a replacement… the same tub that acrobats had wrung out their dirty red tights in!
That made the water pink and Conklin passed it off as being strawberry lemonade. This was before the days of Spandex and artificial permanent dyes, so it is possible but seems to be a less likely origin. 1921 is the earliest documentation of that version of history, in the book The Ways of the Circus: Being the Memories and Adventures of George Conklin Tamer of Lions. Tobey, claims he invented it using pink water from a horse trough. A red blanket had blown into it, changing the color. Another similar story comes from William Henry Griffith in the 1870’s, but it was the acrobats’ red tights that fell off a clothes line and into the lemonade.
These stories of where pink lemonade came from are interesting, but not nearly as fascinating as the other foods author Josh Chetwynd covers in his book How the Hot Dog Found its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink. Obviously making it from sweaty butts of red Spandex tights would not be healthy for you, but how about the modern renditions? It’s not the same thing as strawberry or raspberry lemonade. Not only does that make it an intense magenta or crimson colored drink, but it also alters the flavor. Sour and sweet, thanks to the loads of sugar or corn syrup. The added color does not alter the taste, which begs the question as to what the source of that pinkness is? The In-N-Out pink lemonade ingredients are unknown, as the company won’t disclose them. However there’s a good chance it’s Minute Maid brand, because they sell Coca-Cola products, including the yellow version of Minute Maid available at the self-service fountain. Do we know that because we asked for a free water cup and then filled it with something else? If you buy it in the refrigerated carton at your grocery store, here are Minute Maid’s pink lemonade ingredients: Filtered water, high fructose corn syrup, lemon juice from concentrate, grape juice from concentrate (for color), lemon pulp, natural flavors, sugar. They just use a hint of red grape juice to achieve that rose color. The nutrition facts list a staggering 28g of sugar per 8 oz serving. On a per ounce basis, that’s actually more sugar than Coca Cola – 3.5g per ounce versus 3.25g with a classic Coke. Keep in mind that the cups you get at In-N-Out or another fast food joint are 16 ounce and larger – that’s at least 56g of sugar, the equivalent of 14 teaspoons. Turning to another brand, Country Time pink lemonade, its ingredients are as follows: Sugar, fructose, citric acid, contains less than 2% of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural flavor, soy lecithin, malic acid, magnesium oxide, xanthan gum, artificial color, red 40, red 40 lake. Many kids cereals make use for artificial dyes like yellow 6, blue 1, and red 40. Frosted Flakes is the only one pictured which does not use them. Less sugar at 20g per serving, but with that “benefit” you get the drawbacks of artificial colors made from FD&C Red Dye #40. Red 40 is a derivative of naphthalene, which typically comes from coal tar. It’s a type of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) which is a category of compounds associated with cancers of the stomach, lung, bladder, and liver in numerous animal studies. (1) It’s also among several artificial colors which are believed to be linked to ADHD side effects in children. That’s why prior to joining the European Union, this color known internationally as E129 “allura red” was banned in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Today in Europe, iit’s only allowed in food and non-alcoholic drinks if there’s a safety warning on the label (2): “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” Verdict? Sure, booze is worse, but when it comes to non-alcoholic, this is the unhealthiest drink of the summer season. The difference between lemonade and pink lemonade is generally non-existent when it comes to sugar content. Brands of both pink and yellow lemonade often have more sugar per ounce than Coke, Pepsi, and other sodas. For the reason of high sugar alone, it’s already the most dangerous choice. Brands like Simply Lemonade, Snapple, Newman’s Own, and Minute Maid don’t use red #40. Though a lot of the manufacturers do including Country Time, Sunkist, and most of the generic jugs you see in the refrigerated juice section. Officially, red #40 is completely safe according to U.S.
If not, keep reading… How to make the drink healthier. For sweetness without the calories and blood sugar spike, do not use stevia. Aside from the awful aftertaste, it’s not safe in high amounts due to DNA mutation concerns. The best zero calorie sweetener will be monk fruit powder. Pink lemonade doesn't really make any sense, if you think about it. Lemons are yellow, yet this lemon-based beverage is pink. Some people assume that there are red-colored berries responsible for this oddity; this is sometimes true, but usually not -- and that's certainly not how it was originally invented. We're not here to ruin this perfectly good summertime beverage for you. Pink lemonade is sometimes colored with cranberry juice, raspberry juice or crushed strawberries, but it's more often colored with red food dye.
This may come as a surprise to some, but it's a vast improvement from the way it was dyed when first appearing on the beverage scene in the mid 1800s. According to Josh Chetwynd, author of the book, "How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun," there are two main claims to the title of pink-lemonade inventor -- and neither of them sound very thirst-quenching. The first attributes this beverage to a salesman, by the name of Pete Conklin, who sold concessions at the circus. When working a shift in 1857, he ran out of water to make his lemonade (with no access to a nearby well or spring). Rather than lose out on business, "Pete sprinted into the dressing tent and came across Fannie Jamieson, one of the show’s bareback riders.