Make perfect Fresh Squeezed Lemonade just like grandma used to make! You only need three ingredients to stir up a pitcher of cool, refreshing lemonade. Enjoy one of life's simple pleasures today!
Homemade lemonade requires just three simple ingredients - lemon juice, sugar, and water. Stirred together in the correct proportions, they create a potion worthy of Professor Slughorn (or Snape; your choice).
Fresh squeezed lemonade is smoother, brighter, and more vibrant than anything you can get from a mix or concentrate. It has more kick and less astringency, and it requires less sugar to achieve the same level of sweetness. Plus, when you make your own, you can be assured that the lemon juice is made from clean, organic sources.
For me, a cool glass of this magical concoction can conjure memories decades old: of brightly colored lemonade stands, beating summer sun, and my mother's red hibiscus pitcher.
Simple Syrup or No Stove?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to making homemade lemonade: the "Simple Syrup" school, and the "No Stoves in Summer" school. As with most things in life, I live on middle ground: when it comes to making fresh lemonade - just do what you gotta do.
If I have time, I'll make the simple syrup because, after some experimenting, I have found that making a simple syrup first results in a smoother infusion with more body to it. In other words, a simple syrup will yield the best homemade lemonade. Period.
Nevertheless, if it is just too dang hot out to turn on the stove, then go with it: you can make a fine pitcher of lemonade by simply stirring the three ingredients together. If you choose to skip the simple syrup step, consider making the lemonade at least two hours before serving to allow the sugar to completely dissolve and blend.
What Goes into this Homemade Lemonade Recipe
Fresh squeezed lemonade requires just three simple ingredients: water, sugar, and lemons.
- Water: The water you use matters. Be aware, if your water is treated and has an overpowering taste because of it (i.e, municipally added chlorine, chloramine, etc.), that flavor may taint your chicken stock, which will in turn negatively flavor whatever you make with it.
- Sugar: Use plain, granulated sugar.
- Lemons: If possible, use fresh lemon juice from real lemons.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Lemonade with Fresh Lemons
Combine sugar and 1 cup of water in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature. (You can speed up the process by putting it in the freezer for 15 minutes.)
In a large pitcher, combine fresh lemon juice, cooled simple syrup, and the remaining 7 cups of water.
Serve cold, over ice.
Incorporate some zest into your lemonade. Lemon zest will always add a little extra brightness and bite to anything you add it to; and that includes lemonade. You can do this by adding zest to your simple syrup, or by adding it directly to the lemonade as it is being mixed.
Adjust the water:lemon-sugar ratio to your own tastes. Add half to three-quarters of the suggested water, and then taste the lemonade before adding more.
Sparkling Lemonade: Use club soda in place of the water.
Strawberry Lemonade: Blend a cup of fresh strawberries into the fresh lemon juice before mixing the lemonade.
Raspberry Lemonade: Blend a cup of fresh raspberries into the fresh lemon juice before mixing the lemonade.
Mint Lemonade: Blend a cup of loosely packed fresh mint leaves into the fresh lemon juice before mixing the lemonade.
Cherry Lemonade: Stir ½ cup of maraschino cherry juice into the prepared lemonade.
Ginger Lemonade: Blend 3 ounces of grated ginger into the fresh lemon juice before mixing the lemonade.
I’ve owned a number of citrus juicers over the years – both manual and electric, and the citrus juicer I have now is by far my favorite. It really does the job; plus, you can make nifty little towers from the empty peels!
This homemade lemonade recipe can be refrigerated for up to a week (probably longer). Add ice to the lemonade immediately before serving.
When it comes to juicing lemons, there are a few easy tricks for getting the most juice possible.
(Normally, I would zest the lemons before juicing, and use the zest in the lemonade or freeze it for later use; however, in this case, I had a lemon-peel tower to photograph, so...)
- Roll lemons firmly for one minute on the countertop before juicing. This action breaks down the membranes in the lemon that encapsulates the juice.
- Microwave lemons for 10-15 seconds before juicing.
- Use a good, solid citrus juicer.
HINT: These tricks will work with any citrus fruit!
You can use bottled lemon juice (i.e., Real Lemon®, etc.), but it is more astringent than fresh lemon juice, so your lemonade won't be quite as smooth as when you use real lemons. If you used bottled juice, add ¼ cup more sugar to the simple syrup.
Here are a few dishes that are even better with a cold glass of lemonade.
More Summer Recipes
Homemade Lemonade from Fresh Lemons
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 ½ cup white sugar
- 1 ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- Combine sugar and 1 cup of water in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature. (You can speed up the process by putting it in the freezer for 15 minutes.)
- In a large pitcher, combine fresh lemon juice, cooled simple syrup, and remaining 7 cups of water.
- Serve cold over ice.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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