This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.
The perfect homemade Lemonade recipe! There’s nothing more refreshing to quench your thirst on a hot summer day than a tall ice cold glass of this fresh lemonade. It’s incredibly easy to make and it’s way better than store-bought (and a millions times better than a mix)!
Easy Lemonade Recipe
Lemonade is always the perfect drink for any summer get together or midday lunchtime treat! It’s bright and flavorful and always so satisfying. Plus it’s kid friendly so the whole family can enjoy it.
It’s a breeze to prepare and it’s the perfect compliment to any summer meal, and of course a highlight of those hot summer holidays. Summer just isn’t complete without it right?
I find the ratios listed to be the perfect blend of tartness balanced with sweetness but of course it can easily be adjusted to suite your taste.
Fresh lemonade will just always be of those old fashioned favorites that people will love. I mean who could resist a chilled glass full?
Ingredients Needed for Homemade Lemonade:
- Granulated sugar – the classic sweetener of choice, see notes below for alternative options.
- Water – I think 9 cups water is perfect, but you can adjust this to taste. If you want a stronger lemonade use 7 or 8 cups, if you want a more diluted lemonade use 10 or 11 cups.
- Fresh lemon juice – do not use bottled lemon juice! Only freshly squeezed here or it won’t taste the same at all.
- Ice – keep in mind the more you add the more it will dilute it as it sits. I like to use a couple of cups.
How to Make the Best Lemonade:
- Make simple syrup: in a small saucepan combine sugar and 2 cups water.
- Bring to a boil, while stirring frequently to dissolve sugar.
- All to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Mix all ingredients: in a large pitcher stir together sugar syrup mixture, 7 cups cold water and lemon juice.
- Add ice and serve cold.
- Store in refrigerator.
How Much Juice is in One Lemon?
The amount of juice you’ll get from one lemon can vary quite a bit depending on size of the lemon. 1 small lemon will yield about 2 Tbsp juice, 1 medium lemon about 3 – 4 Tbsp juice and 1 large lemon will yield about 4 – 5 Tbsp juice (and extra large lemons about 6 Tbsp).
But keep in mind every lemon is different and you can never now for sure just by the appearance. I recommend buying a few more lemons than what you think you’ll need to be sure you’ll have enough.
How Long Does Fresh Lemonade Keep?
It should keep well for a few days in the refrigerator but keep in mind it’s just like any freshly squeezed juice it’s not pasteurized (heat treated) and can go bad quicker than you’d think. For longer shelf life freeze for a month or two.
How to Make it Sparkling Lemonade?
Replace the remaining 7 cups water with chilled club soda or sparkling water.
Can I Sweeten it with Honey or a Sugar Free Substitute Instead?
Yes you can replace the granulated sugar with honey or stevia but you’ll need to adjust the amounts.
Honey is sweeter so start with 1 1/4 cups honey and stir into hot water to dissolve. Keep it mind it will impart a honey flavor to the drink. Do not serve it to children under 1.
For a sugar free option try stevia. I’d use about 4 Tbsp, or to taste.
Tips for Lemonade
- Use bigger juicy lemons for less effort.
- Also use a citrus juicer, it makes it much easier and you’ll get more juice than doing it by hand alone.
- Serve it ice cold.
- For a decorative option to the pitcher add lemon slices, raspberries, or fresh mint.
More Refreshing Drinks You’ll Love:
- Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
- Pineapple Mango Lemonade
- Sparkling Honey Limeade
- Watermelon Lemonade
- Brazilian Limeade
Or Try These Lemonade Inspired Treats:
Follow Cooking Classy
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 9 cups water, divided
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice*
- Few cups of ice
- In a small saucepan combine sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, while stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. All to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- In a large pitcher stir together sugar syrup mixture, 7 cups cold water and lemon juice. Add ice and serve cold. Store in refrigerator.
- *Be sure to remove seeds from lemon juice. I like to leave pulp.