Homemade Lemonade is the perfect summer treat! With just fresh lemons, sugar, and water you can make this great drink that is the best balance of tart and sweet.
My kids love lemonade. It is one of their favorite treats when we go out eat, but this homemade version is just about as good as it gets. With only three ingredients, lemons, sugar, and water, you probably just need to add some lemons to your grocery list. You will want to make this refreshing drink all summer long!
How to Make Lemonade
The key to fresh squeezed lemonade is fresh lemons! This homemade lemonade recipe with lemon juice comes together quickly and with simple ingredients. For the full recipe including all measurements, please scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Heat the water and sugar. Bring them to a simmer in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved while stirring often. We are making a simple syrup. Transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate.
- Add the lemon juice. Add the lemon juice and three cups of cold water to the pitcher. Stir until well combined.
- Enjoy over ice.
Getting Juice from Lemons
I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice for this easy lemonade recipe. You will need about six to eight medium-sized lemons to get enough juice and there are a couple of tricks to get the most juice from your lemons.
- Place them one at a time in the microwave for 30 seconds. This is the method I always use.
- Roll them on the counter with the palm of your hand for a few seconds.
After doing one (or both) of those tricks, I use this type of tool to juice my lemons. It allows me to get the most juice out of them. Then I strain the juice to make sure no seeds get in before moving on to the next step.
Using Sugar in Homemade Lemonade
There is a whole cup of sugar in this recipe for lemonade. It is part of what makes this drink a summery treat. We do treats in moderation in our house, but truly enjoy what we make.
I would not suggest that you cut back on the sugar. Lemons are incredibly acidic and tart. As you know from my spaghetti sauce, we want to balance acid with a little sugar so it isn’t overwhelming. In this recipe, the drink is meant to be sweet, so we are balancing it with a lot of sugar. If you were to cut back, I don’t think you will be satisfied with the results.
Instead of cutting back on the sugar, if you are wanting to make this with someone who is watching their blood sugar, I suggest using a sugar substitute. There are many on the market these days that work as great one for one replacements for sugar, such as Swerve, Monk Fruit, and Stevia. Just double check the packaging to make sure you can replace it one for one.
Can Tumbler Glasses
Keep your fresh lemonade in the refrigerator so that it stays chilled. Store it for up to one week. As with all recipes, use your best discretion. If you don’t think your crew will drink a whole pitcher you can cut the recipe in half or you can freeze half of it. Lemonade lasts in the freezer for ages.
Make Strawberry Lemonade
Combine the best lemonade recipe with strawberries! Add fresh or frozen strawberries that have been thawed to the lemonade recipe to make strawberry lemonade. Blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice 6 to 8 medium lemons
- 1 cup granulated sugar (198 grams)
- 4 cups water (236.59 ml) divided
- Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer to a pitcher and put in the refrigerator. Once cooled, add the lemon juice and three cups of water. Stir until well combined.
- Enjoy right away in glasses over ice or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.