If you've never heard of Del's Lemonade, you've probably never experienced a summer in Rhode Island. Though the chain has gone nation-wide, the frothy, icy, sweet and tart beverage is still considered a state tradition (even though it's lost the title of “official state drink” to coffee milk) that, like many American foods, was adopted by immigrants who brought the best of their homelands to their new shores. According to the Del's site:
“Great grandfather DeLucia made the earliest Del's Frozen Lemonade in 1840, in Naples, Italy. During the winter he carried snow into nearby caves and insulated it with straw. When summer arrived and the local lemons were ripe and flavorful, he mixed their juice with just the right amount of sugar and snow.”
Recently, on a trip to Block Island, the excellent refreshment got even more spectacular when a beach-side seafood place called Ballard's added vodka. Now that is brilliant.