Homemade Lemonade Recipe

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This homemade lemonade recipe is quick and easy! Fresh squeezed homemade lemonade is a refreshing treat for everyone, especially on hot summer days!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Homemade Lemonade Recipe – How to make fresh lemonade

I love to make fresh squeezed lemonade but I never seem to be able to remember from one year to the next the proportions of the ingredients that make it taste best. With all of the hot days, I thought some of you might like an easy homemade lemonade recipe. I’m also including some ideas for extras that you can add to have something a little different for your lemonade!

This homemade lemonade recipe is extra sweet so you can cut back on the sugar if you like yours more tart. Adjust this recipe to your own tastes– more lemon, less lemon, more or less sugar, etc.

Add-ins (Extras that are good with fresh lemonade):

  • Fresh berries
  • Any flavor powdered drink mix (Kool-Aid), 1-2 Tbsp.
  • Lemon extract for an extra twist
  • Sprig of mint or slice of lemon


Homemade Lemonade

1 cup lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar (more or less)
Dash of salt
4-5 cups water

Mix the 1 cup of water and sugar in a pan.* Heat until sugar dissolves. This makes a simple syrup. Cool. (It will keep in the fridge for a long time) Mix the rest of the ingredients into the simple syrup. Chill.


*Quick and Easy Lemonade Recipe

I like recipes that are quick and easy so you can skip making the simple syrup. Mix everything together and let it set overnight or for a few hours and the sugar will dissolve without having to make the simple syrup.



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  1. Anonymous says

    this is exactly how my mom makes homemade lemonade… thanks for sharing… it brought back some wonderful childhood memories… drinking lemonade in the summer months and at nite catching lightning bugs and all of the neighbors gabbing and the kids just running around and playing…
    thanks again… 😀

  2. Anonymous says

    You know what Jill? This is something that never crosses my mind, because it seems “too complicated” when you imagine the process. Then when a recipe like this comes along to remind you how simple it can be, I am inspired! Thanks. Lemonade is on the menu in a frosty glass! Presentation is everything!
    Thanks for thinking of/FOR us!

    Robin in CA

  3. Jill Cooper says

    I didn’t think about it but you are right, lemonade is the drink that gives me warm fuzzy feelings in the summer the way hot cocoa does in the winter. It brings back good memories for me too.

    Robin you’re right too, it really isn’t that had to make but we always think of it as being hard. We have gotten so use to instant that we forget a lot of things from scratch may only take a minute or 2 longer.

    I wonder if a person couldn’t squeeze up a large bunch of lemons and freeze the juice in one cup containers or even in ice cubes to pull out when you need them. Maybe someone out there knows if this works. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t. Jill

    • Sue says

      Yes you can freeze the juice.I live in Florida and have lemons given to me and I always juice them and freeze them for lemonade.

  4. Jill Cooper says

    I know I’m long winded this morning but I forgot to add on the last post that fresh lemonade is so good to take on trips or picnics. It seems to quench everyones thirst better than pop. Jill

  5. Anonymous says

    yes, you can freeze lemon juice (i assume in any quantity) and use it later. i’ve used ice cube trays and put berries that are almost past their usefulness in each little compartment~~makes for a nice presention when offering lemonade or even ice water to friends & family!

  6. Anonymous says

    Just thought you all might be looking at the price of fresh lemons going up. ReaLemon in the bottle works just as well. Also tried the cheapper stuff from Dollar General. Worked as well. Also a lot less work.

  7. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    I’ve heard that its important to use a potato masher to crush the lemon slices inside the pitcher. Their oil flavors the lemonade.

  8. Louise says

    If you’re in a hurry, try mixing the lemon juice, the salt, the sugar & some water in the blender, then adding the water necessary to bring it to the right amount. I make kool-aid “concentrate” this way & add the waster to make the 1/2 gallon pitcher. Super fast!

  9. Bea says

    I made the lemonade last night and had some after I went for a nice walk. It was SOOO good. I used 1 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar (I like a little tart) and 1 teasoon of a small packet of Tropical Punch Kool-Aid and it came out delicious.

    • says

      Wait until it gets really hot Bea. I don’t think anything tastes better then an ice cold glass of lemonade in the heat of summer. I love to take this on trips with us too. I freeze some in a bottle then add more to it the morning of the trip so it stays nice and cold for several hours of driving. It seems to be more refreshing and quenches my thirst better then something like pop or even ice tea (which I like too).

  10. Bea says

    I’m like you Jill. I like lemonade in hot weather. There is just something about the acidy taste that seems to refresh a body when it’s very hot and the vitamin C probably helps too. I like the idea of freezing a little of it to help keep bottle cold during the hot weather. So thanks.

  11. Marla says

    One question, if I skip making the simple syrup and just mix everything together, should I let it sit overnight at room temp or in the fridge? thanks!

    • says

      Marla sorry we were so long in answering but we were in the middle of moving. I just mix it up and let it set for a couple of hours.

  12. Karyn says

    I have made “homemade” lemonade for years, several times per week. It is so easy and I’ve never made a syrup. Just equal parts of lemon juice and sugar and X6 on the water (1 cup sugar, 1 cup lemon juice, 6 cups water over ice or a little extra water). I make it just seconds before we sit down to dinner and pour it over ice. My boys know how to make a large glass with 1/4 cup juice/sugar and 1.5 cups water over ice. We also mix it with “homemade” ice tea for Arnold Palmers. We don’t drink a lot of pop, but lemon juice is often on my grocery list and always in my pantry.

  13. Heidi M says

    I’ve made it like this for yrs also and always get compliments when I take it to a get-together. You can add a few slices of fresh lemon to make it look more festive. I always put the sugar in my pitcher first, add enough hot water to cover the sugar, stir until dissolved and then add lemon juice and rest of cold water and ice. Also, if you have a dollar tree store, see if they have quarts of lemon juice. When mine does, I stock up. We drink water with lemon with dinner most nights.

  14. LD says

    We make our own lemonade about the same with out heating it. Instead of sugar we use Birch Xylitol-1/4 to 1/2cup with several drops of Lemon Drop Stevia and a few drops of Young Living’s lemon essential oil. Makes it a lot healthier than the sugar that paralyzes your immune system for hours at a time. Of course I have made it without the xylitol and only the lemon drop or only the xylitol. Depends on what is on hand and how much we have. Always have lemons in the fridge. Thanks for reminding me to make Lemonade. So easy for camping too!

  15. rose says

    i agree jill.. nothing like an icy cold glass of lemonade on a hot hot day ! .. every so often (esp in the summer) i buy a gal jug of the lemonade from popeyes chicken and i actually water it down so i get almost 2 gallons … its actually the tropicana brand on their soda machines .. i cant find it in the stores here .. but for $5 for a gallon and watering it down so its about $2.50/gal then .. about the same price as if we buy the iced tea from the supermarket or walmart .. my son loves their iced tea .. personally, i like my own version of the tea ..

  16. says

    Ice cold lemonade on a hot day! Mmmm. I add sprigs of lemon balm, lemon thyme and pineapple mint to my lemonade. I “crush” a sprig of herb with the back side of a large spoon in the container that I’m mixing my lemon juice and sugar. Very refreshing!

  17. says

    before I found out I was allergic to lemons I kept a jar of simple syrup in the fridge.
    Make up a large pot cool it and store it in the fridge and it is ready for iced tea with lemon or lemonade.
    Now no children so no more need for the syrup.
    It keeps for ever and is so handy.
    Sure do miss eating the left over parts of the lemon after grandma squeezed out the juice.
    That was my favourite part of the process.

  18. andrea says

    Hi Jill, thanks for the great recipe. I live in the south west of Western Australia. The lemonade is just great after a day in the garden. My lemon tree is loaded with fruit at the moment so I froze several litres in large plastic bottles and also froze a lot of the juice in ice cube trays.

  19. Sheri says

    Grate a little of the lemon rind into the mix for extra flavor and color. I often fill the blender with ice and lemonade concentrate for lemonade slushies. So nice! I like to treat our servants to these as I see them. Who are these servants? The mail carrier, meter readers, construction crews, whoever is working in the hot weather on or in front of my property. Why not serve a cup of cold water to those who can not get out of the heat? Or lemonade slushy… They really appreciate it! And who knows, sometimes, they give a little extra back. But that’s not why I do it.

  20. Phyllis says

    I had 1/2 of an extra large lime leftover from making salsa, didn’t want to waste it so added it to my lemonade. I make mine in one of the old Tang pitchers with the orange top. I use 4 lemons, 1/2 of large lime or one small lime, a little less than 1 cup sugar and fill with water. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. The lime really added a little extra and I’ve been making it this way ever since. Everyone always compliments me on how good my lemonade is.

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