There is a lot of lemonade out there. Kids often sell a pucker-causing punch at curbside in paper cups. Adults sip tart lemonade with a splash of vodka at cocktail parties. Making a batch is far from rocket science. A proper lemonade can be made by mashing fresh lemons and sugar together, then adding water. But there are also liquid concentrates, instant drink mixes and ready-to-serve lemonade products. Or a can of frozen concentrate may come to the rescue--picnic or party--as it has for generations.

Such a can came to our rescue at a recent lemonade taste test. After sampling more than a dozen products, we were surprised at how many fell flat or had little lemon flavor. The clear winner was Minute Maid Frozen Concentrated Lemonade, an American classic, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.

EXCEPTIONAL

MINUTE MAID (Frozen Concentrate)

Bright and refreshing with the good taste of tart lemons and just enough sweetener. (About $1.29 for 12 ounces, makes 64 ounces.) Available at most supermarkets.

FRESH SAMANTHA (Ready to Drink)

Fresh tasting with a perfect balance of tart to sweet. (About $2.29 for 16 ounces.) Available at Giant Food, Fresh Fields, Sutton Place Gourmet, Au Bon Pain cafes and many specialty markets.

ACCEPTABLE

COUNTRY TIME (Instant Drink Mix)

Light on the lemon taste but not the least bit offensive. Kids will love it. (About $3.59 for 20 ounces, makes 8 quarts.) Available at most supermarkets.

LORINA (Ready to Drink)

A sparkling lemon soft drink imported from France that tasted like a superior version of a lemon/lime soda. It was fine. But tasters also had high praise for Lorina French Limonade, which isn't lemonade technically but is a sparkling, clear, refreshing citrus drink that would be a welcome addition to a party bar as a nonalcoholic beverage or mixer. (About $3.69 for 25.4 ounces.) Available at Fresh Fields, Sutton Place Gourmet and other specialty markets.

SAFEWAY (Frozen Concentrate)

More sweet than tart with fresh lemon flavor. ($1.19 for 12 ounces, makes 64 ounces.) Available at Safeway stores.

SUPER G (Frozen Concentrate)

Both sweet and tart with fresh lemon flavor. (93 cents for 12 ounces, makes 64 ounces.) Available at Giant Food stores.

FORGETTABLE

AFTER THE FALL (Ready to Drink)

We tasted apple or grape, but not lemon. (About $1.99 for 32 ounces.) Available at most supermarkets.

CASCADIAN FARM (Frozen Concentrate)

The overwhelming flavor of honey killed any other taste. ($2.99 for 12 ounces, makes 60 ounces.) Available at Fresh Fields stores.

CRYSTAL LIGHT (Instant Drink Mix)

Sugar-free and low-calorie but with a synthetic-sweetener flavor that left a dry sensation on the tongue. (About $5.39 for 3.2 ounces, makes 12 quarts.) Available at most supermarkets.

JUST PIK'T (Ready to Drink)

Watery and waxy with a lemon oil aftertaste. ($1.75 for 11.21 ounces.) Available at Dean & DeLuca.

KOOL-AID (Instant Drink Mix)

Watery with little lemon flavor, but kids would enjoy it. (About $3.39 for 19 ounces, makes 8 quarts.) Available at most supermarkets.

MINUTE MAID (Ready to Drink)

A drink that was sour rather than tart with an odd aftertaste. (About $2.19 for 64 ounces.) Available at most supermarkets.

ODWALLA (Ready to Drink)

A disappointing, watery "ade" with an off aftertaste. (About $1.99 for 16 ounces.) Available at supermarkets and specialty grocers.

REALEMON (Liquid Concentrate)

A lemon flavor that tastes as if it were created in a laboratory. (About $4.29 for 24 ounces, makes 4 quarts.) Available at most supermarkets.

SANTA CRUZ (Ready to Drink)

Reminiscent of a watery Tom Collins mix. ($1.99 for 32 ounces.) Available at Fresh Fields stores.

TROPICANA (Ready to Drink)

Stale lemon cough drops came to mind. (About $1.89 for 64 ounces.) Available at most supermarkets.

WHOLE FOODS (Ready to Drink)

Lemonade? This store brand tasted like every fruit but lemon. ($2.49 for 48 ounces.) Available at Fresh Fields stores.