This fresh homemade lemonade recipe is quick and easy! Fresh squeezed homemade lemonade is a refreshing treat for everyone, especially on hot summer days!
Easy 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
Easy Homemade Lemonade Recipe
1 cup water
1 cup sugar (more or less)
1 cup lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
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. (This syrup will keep in the fridge for a long time.)
- Mix the rest of the ingredients into the simple syrup to make the lemonade.
- To make the recipe even more quick and easy to prepare, you can skip making the simple syrup. Mix everything together and let it sit overnight or for a few hours and the sugar will dissolve without having to make the simple syrup.
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Here’s an easy variation for strawberry lemonade! You can make this strawberry lemonade starting with our fresh homemade lemonade recipe above or you can take a shortcut like our reader did and start with store-bought lemonade.
This easy idea was submitted by Sheri, a reader:
Easy Strawberry Lemonade
I have served strawberry lemonade for two or three wedding rehearsal dinners. I made up the lemonade and dropped in frozen strawberries to keep the lemonade cool without diluting it. You can also freeze the strawberries in a mold with lemonade to do the same thing. It is so simple and people like to have their own strawberries in their cups.
I buy the lemonade mix at Smart and Final in the gallon size, that makes up 6 gallons and I make 7 gallons with it. I get compliments on how refreshing my lemonade tastes because it is not as sweet as full strength. I have an empty gallon jug marked where to fill the concentrate to before adding water for one gallon of lemonade.
Here’s a trick to keep the lemonade cold when serving in the 5 gallon cooler jug (like an Igloo). Freeze a clean gallon milk jug with water. Drop that in the lemonade and keep another milk jug with water in the freezer for when the first one melts, then keep switching them out until the lemonade is gone. The lemonade stays cold and it doesn’t get diluted. And…I don’t outrun my ice maker!
Where we live, it’s nice to have something cold on tap outside. Since we don’t snack between meals and only have water to drink between meals, this is an occasional treat, especially when we have guests. It makes everyone feel special and gets them outside when the temperatures are in the 100’s. We have plenty of shade and water play to keep them cool too. There are just times when they have to go out to play!
Thank you for your ideas!
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… :D
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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
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
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.
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
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!
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.
Grizzly Bear Mom
I’ve heard that its important to use a potato masher to crush the lemon slices inside the pitcher. Their oil flavors the lemonade.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
Lemonade is recommended to keep kidney stones at bay!
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.
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.
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!
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 ..
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!
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.
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.
Oh Andrea what I wouldn’t give to have a lemon tree in my back yard. Oh Yum. Anyway great idea on freezing it.
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.
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.