(Photo courtesy of Frittering Away)
What’s more nostalgic and summery than fresh lemonade from a pretty lemonade stand? I was recently visiting the Astoria Flea, and I was parched on that boiling hot summer day. So imagine my joy when I came across Frittering Away, a lemonade stand that is anything but traditional.
Megan Griffey and Megan Bailey of Frittering Away Lemonade (Photo courtesy of Frittering Away)
Originally founded as an Austrialian-style fritter company, Frittering Away began selling a variety of batter-dipped foods. (An Australian fritter is more like a latke and not deep fried like their American cousins.) Owners Megan Griffey (an Aussie) and Megan Bailey (known as Bailey) opened their tent at Smorgasburg in the fall of 2012. Megan Griffey has a background in hospitality, with a focus on restaurant and bar management, so starting up a food company made sense.
They did very well over the winter, but as the weather started turning the next spring and into the summer, people stopped wanting to eat hot fritters as much. So Megan and Megan made fresh lemonade to sell along with the fritters. Sure enough, they sold out of the beverage within 90 minutes. So they brewed up some more for the next weekend.
Then they had the idea of selling lemonade in mason jars. Everyone loves an ice cold drink in a mason jar, right? They sold out of 120 gallons of lemonade that day. The mason jar is now a part of their whole lemonade experience. Eventually, the lemonade part of their business overtook the fritters, and today they are all about the drinks.
The interesting thing is that Frittering Away does not sell plain lemonade. They sell drinks that are mixtures of lemonade and other juices. The Strawberry Lemonade is a top seller. The day I met them, they also had Cucumber Mint Lemonade, Gingerade and Strawberry Basil Lemonade. I tried them all, and they were all lovely, creative and thirst quenching. Megan and Bailey make their lemonades in advance, so the line at their pretty booth always moves quickly.
Frittering Away Lemonades at the Astoria Flea
They sweeten their drinks with real sugar, and just enough of it. The sugar enhances the lemon without overpowering it. “Tartness from the lemon juice is the point,” said Megan. Watermelon is a very sweet fruit, so they are careful with any added sugar to each batch so it is not too sweet. There has to be a balance among the flavors, the sweetness and the tartness.
They give out lots of samples in the markets. “People come to our stand asking for plain lemonade. So we offer them a taste of the strawberry basil or the jalapeño watermelon lemonade. They may start off being scared of the unique flavors, but they end up loving them. So tasting is good,” says Griffey.
“We have people come back 10 minutes later and say, ‘I need another,'” she says.
Megan and Bailey are currently developing a line of all natural frozen concentrate lemonades. Their first target market is wholesale for restaurants and bars. They will then continue with a retail version of the frozen concentrate that will come in a standing box with a pouring spout for home use, so you can store it comfortably in the refrigerator after opening.
Frittering Away and Ice & Vice made a Strawberries & Cream Float (Photo courtesy of Frittering Away)
One of their most exciting and latest endeavors is a collaboration this summer with their neighbor at the Astoria Flea, Ice & Vice, makers of brilliant and addictive ice creams. Together, they have created an ice cream float! It’s called Strawberries & Cream, and it is a mixture of Frittering Away’s strawberry lemonade with Ice & Vice’s Mexican vanilla and black lava sea salt ice cream. I can only imagine how good it is! I’ll let you know when I get to try one. Or better yet, why don’t you try it first?
You can currently find Frittering Away at these venerable market events:
And keep your eye on them for the winter months too. Their Hot Ginger Lemonade is made with fresh ginger steeped in lemon juice and sweetened with brown sugar. I feel cozy already!
~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City
Frittering Away: Flavors of the Day at the Astoria Flea
The Lemonade Stand at Artists and Fleas (Photo Courtesy of Frittering Away)
Frittering Away at the Hester Street Fair (Photo Courtesy of Frittering Away)
Frittering Away: Refreshing Iced Lemonade at the Astoria Flea with Matt Weston and Bailey!
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