MiVT: Vermont twist on lemonade - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

MiVT: Vermont twist on lemonade

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Like most kids, Theo Esser wanted a lemonade stand. There was just one problem.

"We lived on a hill where two or three cars drove by a day, so we couldn't sell it there," explained Theo, 7.

Luckily, his dad had a booth for his maple syrup business, Dragonfly Sugarworks, at the Burlington Farmers' Market and let Theo sell his maple lemonade there.

"This was placating Theo's desire to have a lemonade stand like all 5-year-olds want to do," said Paul Limberty, Theo's dad.

Asked if he's surprised people love his lemonade, Theo shakes his head no. The lemonade took off-- selling hundreds a weekend at $3 a cup.

"It's made it so I can make it full time selling maple syrup," Limberty said.

The refreshing drink is also quenching people's thirst in New York City. Eric Rozendaal of Rockville Market Farm thought it would be the perfect drink to sell at Smorgasburg-- a Brooklyn, N.Y., food-flea market-- along with his food.

"It's very competitive," Rozendaal said. "It's hard to get into. We went and tried out in January."

Theo and his dad agreed to give Rozendaal the recipe for their maple lemonade. In exchange, Rozendaal gives them as many farm vegetables as they can eat.

"So, we brought down 20 gallons and sold out in 90 minutes," Rozendaal said.

Rozendaal sells it for $4 a cup-- people usually give him $5-- and goes through 100 gallons on Saturday and 100 more gallons Sunday.

"The most we've ever sold at one market is 1,000," Rozendaal said. "We ran out of cups."

He started out using Dragonfly's Sugarworks grade A amber for the drink, but quickly needed more than they could produce. However, he still uses Vermont syrup.

"It's just been a runaway hit there. Once something takes off everybody wants it," Rozendaal said.

"I had no idea they were going to sell nearly as much as they're selling," Limberty said. "Anything that spreads the word about agriculture in Vermont is nothing but a plus for the state."

As for Theo, he says it doesn't matter who's drinking it where, as long as they're doing it the right way.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Is there a good way to drink this? You like slurp it.

Theo Esser: So you don't get all the ice in your mouth.

Tapping into the flavor of Vermont-- with a little twist.

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