How Joyce's Lemonade Gets To Jazz Fest

May 2, 2014

Sure there’s the music line-up at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this weekend. But for some, the most important notes are savory, sweet or tart.

Each one of the food and drink booths at the festival is a stage all its own — with long hours of preparation and hard work to put on a good show. We looked behind the scenes at one staple item of Jazz Fest: Joyce's Lemonade.

For more than 20 years Joyce Brossett has brought her fresh-squeezed lemonade to the festival. While it only has three ingredients — water, sugar and lemon — it takes months of part-time preparation, the work of 19 people, and dozens of heavy cases of fruit, jugs of water, freezers of ice and hauling 25 lb. bags of sugar to get that sweet, tart drink to festival goers.

Brossett does the festival booth as a part-time gig. The rest of the year she can be found at Xavier University in her job as a business manager.

Her children take a break from their regular jobs, too, to chip in at the booth. "It's worth it," says Brossett, "It's so much fun." Since Hurricane Katrina, she says, the extra income from the lemonade booth has helped her and her family recover financially, and funded the rebuilding of their homes.

You can find Joyce's Lemonade at  Section 1, Booth 3, every year, every day of Jazz Fest.