Storing lemonade in a pewter pitcher can result in potential health risks. Pewter is an alloy that traditionally contains tin, antimony, and copper. While pewter pitchers can be aesthetically pleasing and have historical significance, they are not recommended for storing acidic liquids like lemonade for extended periods.
The main concern with using pewter pitchers for acidic beverages is the potential leaching of metal contaminants into the drink. Acidic substances can cause a chemical reaction with the pewter, leading to the release of tin, antimony, and copper into the liquid. These metals, if consumed in excessive amounts, can be harmful to human health.
Tin, for example, is considered relatively safe in small quantities, but high levels of tin exposure can lead to symptoms such as stomachaches, nausea, and vomiting. Antimony, another component of pewter, can also have toxic effects on the body, including gastrointestinal issues and respiratory problems. Copper, if consumed in large amounts, can cause digestive discomfort and even liver damage.
To ensure the safety of your beverages, it is recommended to use containers made from food-grade materials that are specifically designed for storing acidic drinks. Options like glass, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic pitchers are safer choices, as they do not react with acidic substances and are less likely to leach harmful substances into your lemonade.
If you happen to own a pewter pitcher and still wish to use it for decorative purposes, it is best to limit its use to non-acidic beverages or short-term storage. However, for long-term storage or regular consumption of lemonade, it is advisable to opt for alternative pitcher materials that are known to be safe for acidic liquids.