Homemade Lemonade

Refreshing homemade lemonade is made with a simple syrup for the perfect sweet to tart ratio. It is perfect for warm summer days, or any day!

Fresh-squeezed lemonade is my drink of choice. It is not too sweet, and is perfectly thirst-quenching. For some more easy, refreshing drinks chink out our Cherry Limeade, Pink Punch and Ocean Water drink recipes..

Glass of homemade lemonade with a slice of lemon and mint

The bEST Lemonade!

Nothing says summer quite like fresh lemonade!!

Arizona citrus season is actually in the winter, so we enjoy fresh lemonade in our perfect-to-be-outside weather. Then I like to freeze bags of fresh-squeezed juice for use all year long, whether in lemon main dishes or lemon desserts!

Whether we are enjoying it in the summer or winter, fresh lemonade is our fav drink. It is refreshing and so easy to make! This version uses a simple syrup as the sweetener so it does require a bit extra time, but the result is worth it!

I’ve included a few tips for getting the most juice out of your lemons. You are going to want as much of this homemade lemonade recipe because it’s the BEST. 😉

lemon juice in a white bowl

How to make lemonade

PREP. To get the most juice from the lemons you will want to soak them in HOT water for about 10 minutes.

SYRUP. While the lemons are soaking make the syrup: Add the sugar and 1 c of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once it has reached room temperature cover the syrup and place it in the fridge to chill.

JUICE. After soaking the lemons allow them to cool enough to handle. Firmly roll each lemon on the counter top a few times. Cut the lemons in half and juice them. Remove all the seeds, but leave the pulp. Set juice aside until syrup has chilled.

COMBINE. Mix the Lemonade by adding the chilled syrup, lemon juice and 7 c water to a pitcher. Stir and serve.

How to make lemonade process photo

Tips, Variations + Storing Info

Getting the most juice from your Lemons: You really want to get the most juice out of each of your lemons and there are a couple tricks to accomplish that. 

  1. Soaking them in HOT water which is what we did for this recipe. Then rolling the lemons on the counter to further aid in getting the most juice.
  2. Another trick is to freeze them. Just toss the entire lemon into the freezer for several hours until it is frozen solid. Allow the lemons to thaw by soaking them in warm water or just leaving them out on the counter. I have actually frozen whole lemons before and I can attest that they get super soft and all the liquids are released.
  3. Finally, use the microwave. I have not tried this one personally, but saw it online. It seems like it’s the same idea as soaking them in water. You microwave each lemon for about 30 seconds to help release juices and then roll them on the counter. If you give this one a try let me know how it worked in the comments.  

Recipe Variations: 

  • Limeade: Simply substitute the lemons with limes. So simple!
  • Strawberry Lemonade: Place sliced strawberries into a bowl with some sugar. Let them sit and then mash them. Mix the puree into the lemonade to whatever taste preference you desire (or check out our favorite strawberry lemonade).

Dress it up: I think a really pretty presentation makes homemade lemonade taste even better. Here are some of my favorite presentation ideas:

  • Adding lemon slices to the drink makes it so pretty. You can even go a step further and freeze the lemon slices first so you can cool the drink without diluting it with traditional ice cubes.
  • Top with a simple sprig of mint
  • Rim the drinking glasses with sugar: Simply dip the rim of the glasses in some lemonade and then into a bowl of sugar. Let dry.
Lemonade recipe with a slice of lemon and mint

How to store + freeze

STORE lemonade in the fridge for about 5 days.

FREEZE the lemon concentrate: Make the syrup as directed and mix it with the squeezed lemon juice. FREEZE it in a freezer Ziploc for up to 5 months. When you’re ready to use it add the concentrate to 7 c water. Stir until combined.

More Drinks:

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Homemade Lemonade Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Refreshing homemade lemonade is made with a simple syrup for the perfect sweet to tart ratio. It is perfect for warm summer days, or any day!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
chill 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 124 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ c white sugar
  • 8 c water
  • 1 ½ c fresh squeezed lemon juice about 8 lemons

Instructions
 

  • To get the most juice from the lemons you will want to soak them in HOT water for about 10 minutes.
  • While the lemons are soaking make the syrup: Add the sugar and 1 c of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once it has reached room temperature cover the syrup and place it in the fridge to chill.
  • After soaking the lemons allow them to cool enough to handle. Firmly roll each lemon on the counter top a few times. Cut the lemons in half and juice them. Remove all the seeds, but leave the pulp. Set juice aside until syrup has chilled.
  • Mix the Lemonade by adding the chilled syrup, lemon juice and 7 c water to a pitcher. Stir and serve.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    The lemonade was the perfect mixture, I would change nothing about it, except make a larger batch next time.

  2. 5 stars
    What a delicious and refreshing drink! We love this recipe and it’s perfect for summertime especially for get togethers! Can’t wait to make this again!

  3. 5 stars
    Perfectly sweet! I remember when my kids would love to do lemonade stands & we went through a few recipes trying to find the perfect one. I wish we had found this years ago!

    1. You sure can! You can use any sort of sugar substitute. Honey, agave and stevia would work as well as sugar twin.

  4. 5 stars
    I live in AZ too and am lucky to have neighbors who give me excess lemons from their tree. Thank for the tip about soaking the lemons first.
    This is an easy and yummy recipe.