Homemade Lemonade Recipe
This Homemade Lemonade recipe is so easy to make and made with just three simple ingredients. Perfect for a light, refreshing drink!
Is there anything more refreshing than a glass of cold lemonade on a hot spring or summer day? Nope, I don’t think so!
Since the weather is finally getting warmer, I wanted to share my simple homemade lemonade recipe with you. This recipe only requires three ingredients and takes about 10-15 minutes to make.
Plus, it will keep in the refrigerator for several days so it’s a perfect drink to make ahead of time for parties or gatherings. This recipe will make about 6 and 1/2 cups of lemonade, but you can easily cut the recipe in half for 2-3 people or double it for a larger crowd!
This fresh lemonade recipe requires just a handful of ingredients. I bet you can already guess what they are!
- Water: You’ll need a cup of water to make the simple syrup (more on that in a bit), plus additional water to make the lemonade.
- Lemon juice: When it comes to homemade lemonade, I suggest using fresh lemon juice. You may want to squeeze the lemons over a fine mesh strainer so no seeds sneak into your homemade lemonade.
- Granulated sugar: This recipe calls for equal parts water and sugar to make a simple syrup. Granulated sugar sweetens this simple lemonade recipe without affecting the lemon flavor.
How to Make Lemonade
To make this homemade lemonade, you’ll start out by making a simple syrup. To do this, you’ll combine equal parts water and sugar and heat it in a saucepan on the stove top until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Why use a simple syrup? By melting the sugar down with the water, you’ll end up with a liquid sweetener. This makes it much easier to mix into beverages than just using regular sugar, plus you don’t get any of the grittiness from just mixing in sugar either.
To make the simple syrup, you’ll combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of granulated sugar in a saucepan. Then, place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside while you juice the lemons. Once you’ve juiced the lemons, I suggest straining the juice as well to remove any seeds or pulp.
Then, mix together the simple syrup and the fresh lemon juice in a large pitcher until well combined. This mixture will be pretty sweet and tart, so you’ll also be mixing in 4 cups of cold water to help balance it all out.
You can go ahead and serve the lemonade once you’ve mixed it up, but I like to refrigerate it for 1-2 hours or until it’s thoroughly chilled. I love to add some lemon slices and fresh mint to the pitcher for a little something extra, but it’s delicious without them too!
How Many Lemons Are Needed for This Lemonade?
You’ll need to measure out 1 cup of lemon juice for this fresh lemonade recipe, which comes out to about 8 medium lemons or 4-6 large lemons.
How Long Does It Last?
This simple lemonade recipe will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Can I Make Simple Syrup with an Artificial Sweetener?
You probably can, but the amount you’ll need will depend on your sweetener.
Can I Use Lime Juice Instead?
If you’d like to make homemade limeade instead of lemonade, you’re welcome to substitute freshly squeezed lime juice for the lemon juice.
Tips For Success
- I suggest making the simple syrup first and then set it aside to cool while you juice the lemons.
- You’ll need 1 cup of fresh lemon juice for this recipe, which is equal to about 7-8 medium lemons or 4-6 large lemons. If you have any lemons leftover, you can slice them and add them to your pitcher, or use them in my microwave lemon curd or blueberry lemon bread.
- To get the most juice out of your lemons, roll them on the counter with the palm of your hand first, then slice the lemons in half, and squeeze them.
- Once you’ve squeezed out the lemon juice, I suggest straining it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds or pulp.
More Summer Drink Recipes to Try!
- Cherry Limeade Slushies
- Watermelon Lime Slushies
- Blackberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Limeade
- Key Lime Smoothie
Homemade Lemonade Recipe
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 cups (960 ml) cold water
To make the simple syrup:
- Combine 1 cup of water and the cup of sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
To make the lemonade:
- In a large pitcher, combine the simple syrup and lemon juice and stir until well combined. Stir in the cold water until fully combined.
- Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled, then serve, and enjoy!
Same amount of lime juice for lime made?
That should be fine!
I have a question: Can you make a simple syrup for this recipe, using artificial sweetener, and is it really necessary?
You probably can, but the amount you’ll need will depend on your sweetener. The simple syrup isn’t 100% necessary, but it does help to fully dissolve the sugar first before adding it.
I did at one time make lemonade like this, But, when I got my Vita mix it was a no brainer. Simply peel the lemons,
place in the vita mix, add water and sweetner. Add ice cubes and sip. You can blitz the lemons into a very smooth
consistency, but we like a little bit pulpy. This can also be used with any citrus or fruit.
Well, this took me back in time to 1964 and my grandmother Ellen making hand-squeezed lemonade from the trees in her backyard. She lived in Orange County California, and it was known for its citrus orchards not just oranges.
Thank you very much. The simple syrup was what I was getting wrong all this time of trying to reproduce her recipe. She didn’t write to make simple syrup, but that’s kind of like knowing the basics of breadmaking. You don’t have to write how to make sure the loaf is elastic or what happens if you poke two holes in the dough to check rising time, you just do it.
Again thank you. And no, I don’t even want to own a Vitamix.
Oh I love this recipe for Homemade Lemonade….make it all the time. Thanks. It really is so refreshing too.
My family loved this recipe. It didn’t even last 24 hours. Before adding the lemon juice to the pitcher, I strained the seeds using a slotted spoon. Doing so allowed me to keep the pulp, which I like, and helped to maintain the look of freshly-made lemonade.
Such a great idea, Trisha! So glad everyone enjoyed the lemonade!
Very very sweet. Needs more lemon. What did I do wrong?
Did you double check the measurements that you used? This is lemonade, so it’s meant to be a bit sweet too. Feel free to add more lemon juice if you prefer.
How do you make the flavored lemonades such as raspberry or watermelon?
You can blend some raspberries or watermelon, strain the mixture, and add it to the lemonade. You may need more or less simple syrup depending on what fruit you add in.