This Homemade Lemonade recipe is so easy to make and made with just three simple ingredients. Perfect for a light, refreshing drink!

Two glasses of homemade lemonade with lemon slices, mint leaves, and straws.

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!

Recipe Ingredients 

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. 

A hand adding a cup of sugar to a saucepan filled with water.

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.

A clear measuring cup filled with fresh lemon juice.

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!

A large glass pitcher filled with homemade lemonade, lemon slices, and fresh mint leaves.


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. 

A closeup picture of a glass of lemonade.

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!

A close-up picture of a glass of lemonade.

Homemade Lemonade Recipe

5 from 4 ratings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
This Homemade Lemonade Recipe is made with just three simple ingredients and so easy to make too. Perfect for a light, refreshing drink!


Servings: 4
  • 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!


This recipe will yield about 6 1/2 cups of lemonade. Store leftover lemonade in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Lemons: 1 cup of fresh lemon juice is equal to about 7-8 medium lemons or 4-6 large lemons.
Cuisine: American
Course: Drinks
Author: Danielle Rye
Did you make this recipe?Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.