Shatto's Lemonade is a summer picnic in a bottle

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Lemonade is like the liquid equivalent of barbecue -- everyone's got an opinion about how to make it, and your opinion, if it differs, is most likely wrong. But we may be able to strike a peace accord with a heavy glass bottle of Shatto Lemonade.

The Osborn, Missouri, dairy has been making juices and teas -- lemonade, sweetened tea, fruit punch, and orange drink for a few years -- but I, and probably many Kansas Citians, only knew them for their milk and cheese. But this summer, the lemonade has been making its way into my shopping cart with regularity.

Shatto's version scores points because it's not too sweet and it's reasonably priced ($1.89 for a half gallon, less than the $2 bottle deposit), somewhere between the Roberts and Newman's of the world. The tartness means that it's best enjoyed in a tall glass over a lot of ice.

I value the lemonade perhaps most as a mixer. It's rock-solid as half of an Arnold Palmer when mixed with sun tea (go for a ratio of one part lemonade to two parts tea) and makes a respectable summer cocktail with muddled fresh mint, ice and chilled vodka. Odds are, it would work in a shandy (beer and lemonade) cocktail, as well.

You won't be sold by the first sip, but you will be by the bottom of the bottle.

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