There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than an ice cold glass of Homemade Lemonade. This fresh squeezed lemonade is so easy to prepare with just 3 simple ingredients: lemons, sugar, and water!
This thirst-quenching beverage is perfect for summer porch sipping, and the ingredients can easily be adjusted to suit your personal taste.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- You control the flavor: Adjust the sweetness and tartness to your personal taste.
- Budget-friendly: Making lemonade from scratch may be more cost-effective than buying it, especially if lemons are available at a reasonable price.
- Avoid preservatives: Many store-bought lemonades contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and other additives to prolong shelf life. Homemade lemonade typically has a shorter shelf life but is free from these unnecessary ingredients.
How to Make Lemonade
- Prepare the simple syrup by combining sugar and water in a saucepan and heating until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
- Juice the lemons while the simple syrup is cooling.
- Combine and stir. Stir together the simple syrup, lemon juice and water in a pitcher.
How to Choose the Best Lemons for Lemonade
- Color: Choose lemons that are vibrant in color and fully ripened. Avoid lemons with green or brown spots.
- Texture: The skin of the lemons should be glossy and smooth (avoid lemons with rough or shriveled skin).
- Feel: A ripe lemon should give slightly when pressed. If it’s very hard, it’s probably not juicy. If it’s very soft, it’s overripe.
Yes, bottled lemon juice can be used in this recipe. I prefer freshly squeezed lemon juice because it has a brighter flavor, but bottled juice can also be used.
Yes, you can use other sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, or even a sugar substitute. Keep in mind that the taste will be slightly different.
This lemonade will last for 5 to 7 days when stored covered in the fridge. Give it a good stir before serving.
- Roll your lemons firmly on the countertop before juicing them. This helps to break down the membranes so that more juice can be extracted.
- Temperature matters: Lemons at room temperature are much easier to juice than cold lemons.
- Chill before serving: Ice melts faster in room temperature lemonade and can dilute the flavor.
- Pink lemonade: Add a splash of grenadine or cranberry juice for a beautiful pink color.
- Tropical lemonade: Stir in some pineapple or mango juice for a tropical twist. Coconut water can also be used in place of the water.
- Sparkling lemonade: Replace the water with sparkling water or club soda for a bubbly twist.
- Boozy lemonade: Add your favorite vodka, mix up a refreshing Bourbon Lemonade, or make these beautiful and delicious Tiffany Mimosas!
Number of Servings
This recipe yields approximately 7 cups. Please note that the recipe is doubled in the photographs.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 cups water divided
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 5 to 6 medium lemons
- Prepare the simple syrup by combining the sugar and 1 cup of the water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- While the simple syrup is cooling, juice the lemons (remove any seeds).
- Pour the cooled simple syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 4 cups of water in a pitcher. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir before serving.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.