Rub some of the sugar on the peel of the lemon to extract the oil; roll the lemons under the hand on the table, and press out all the juice; add to every lemon two heaping table-spoons of loaf-sugar; mix it thoroughly with the lemon; fill the pitcher one-quarter full of broken ice, and add water.
From The Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia by Mrs. E. F. Haskell, 1861
Comment: Today a direction to “rub sugar on the lemon peel” looks a bit peculiar, and attempting to follow it would undoubtedly produce a dreadful mess of sugar grains scattered about, leading to an infestation of ants in the kitchen.
Sugar in the 19th century was not sold in the already-granulated form we find in bags in supermarkets today. It was sold as “loaf sugar,” produced at the refinery in large cones which were wrapped in paper for shipment to merchants. There it would be sold whole only to very large consumers, perhaps plantations which supported a number of families or else commercial users such as hotels.
For buyers from smaller households the grocer would knock off a chunk with a mallet and chisel and sell it by weight. This still left the end user with the task of further chipping it into bits which would then be ground in a mortar, scraped over a grater, or, in this case, rubbed on the peels of lemons to extract their flavor. Once the lemon juice and water were mixed the remaining sweetener could be tossed in in chunk or chip sizes and allowed to dissolve. Ice, if available, would probably be added last, just before serving.