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  • Homemade Lemonade Recipe

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    This easy homemade lemonade says summer with three ingredients and plenty of fresh flavors. It doesn’t require cooking a simple syrup.  It is quick, delicious, and refreshing – a summer crowd pleaser!

    Homemade Lemonade with real lemons

    Nothing says summer better than a tall, cool glass of lemonade. Most store-bought pre-made lemonade is too sugary or has a weird taste with not enough fresh citrus flavor. This recipe combines the right ratio of bright lemon flavor and sweetness to create the best lemonade recipe. It’s so refreshing – perfect drink on a hot summer day! Freshly squeezed lemon juice elevates the flavor to another level. And mashing the lemons together with sugar provides just the right amount of sweetness and maximizes the lemon’s flavor: The sugar crystals absorb the intense flavor of the fragrant citrus oils in the lemon peel.

    This recipe for homemade lemonade with lemon juice is also very easy to make – no need to turn on the cooktop and make a simple syrup, and then wait for it to cool off a little bit (you don’t want to pour hot simple syrup into a glass pitcher because the glass will shatter). All you need is a mixing bowl and a potato masher or a wooden spoon to mash the lemons. This is not only quicker to make but also makes the most flavorful lemonade.

    homemade lemonade recipe

    Steps To Make Homemade Lemonade

    You need only 3 ingredients to make this fresh homemade lemonade – freshly squeezed lemon juice, sweetener of choice, and water.

    The most important part in making a good lemonade is to use the right ratio of lemon juice, sugar, and water. My perfect ratio is 8 – 2 – 8 (8 lemons, 2 cups sugar, 8 cups water). As written, this lemonade has the perfect amount of sweetness for me, but it goes without saying that you could adjust the sweetness, lemon flavor or water quantity. Some people prefer not overly sweet or slightly bitter lemonade, that’s why it’s best to adjust the water quantity to your preference. But if you follow this recipe, you won’t end up with a bitter or super sweet lemonade that will make it impossible for people to drink and enjoy. Steps for the best lemonade recipe:

    • Thoroughly wash the lemons with soap and warm water, especially if you are mashing them whole with the skin.
    • Roll each lemon with the palm of your hand, pressing down as you do.
    • Cut the lemons into slices and add them to a large mixing bowl.
    • Add sweetener and mash the lemons for a couple of minutes until the lemon juices and the sweetener blend together.
    • Strain the liquid (2 cups), and add 8 cups of water to a glass pitcher.

    best lemonade recipe

    Tips to Make The Best Sweet Homemade Lemonade

    • For best flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice from real lemons, not store bought bottled lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice doesn’t taste as good as lemon juice from fresh lemons. It usually has some things added to it and the flavor is not quite right. It’s definitely better to make your homemade lemonade with real lemons.
    • When purchasing lemons, choose large ones that give to gentle pressure; avoid lemons that still have some green spots. Hard lemons have thicker skin and yield less juice.
    • Also, if possible use Meyer lemons – they are sweeter and juicier than other lemon varieties. They make an amazing lemonade with delicious sweet flavor. They are usually in season in the winter and spring months.
    • To extract the most lemon juice,  before you cut them, roll each lemon over your cutting board with the palm of your hand, pressing down as you do. This will help them to release their juice.
    • For a fuller, more complex lemon flavor, macerate lemon slices with the sugar in a bowl and store them in the fridge for about 30 minutes if possible. Mashing the lemon slices with sugar (or your choice of sweetener) helps to extract the oils in the lemon peel and adds more of the fragrant citrus flavor.

    recipe for homemade lemonade

    Healthy Sugar-Free Homemade Lemonade Recipe

    You can make a healthy lemonade by substituting the sugar with a natural sweetener. You can use honey, stevia or monk fruit to make a healthy homemade lemonade without sugar. Homemade lemonade with honey tastes just as good as old-fashioned homemade lemonade.

    homemade lemonade recipe

    Don’t forget to pin this fresh lemonade recipe on your ‘Summer Recipes’ board on Pinterest.

    How To Make Homemade Lemonade

    Homemade Lemonade with real lemons
    5 from 12 votes
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    Homemade Lemonade Recipe

    This easy homemade lemonade says summer with three ingredients and plenty of fresh flavors. It doesn’t require cooking a simple syrup. It is quick, delicious, and refreshing – a summer crowd pleaser!
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 10 minutes
    Servings 10 cups
    Calories 182kcal


    • 8 large lemons*
    • 2 cups sugar , (or 1 1/4 cup honey)
    • 8 cups water
    • 1-2 lemons, , sliced for garnish (optional)


    • Wash lemons thoroughly with soap or vegetable spray, and warm water. Roll lemons firmly on a hard surface until they become soft. This will help them to release their juice.
    • Slice the lemons. Mash the lemon slices and the sugar in a large bowl, using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved. If you have time you can chill the mashed lemons and sugar mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This will help the sugar and the lemon juices to combine and for better flavor.
    • Strain the sugar-lemon mixture into a glass measuring cup, and measure 2 cups. If you have less than 2 cups, juice some more lemon juice.
    • Add the 2 cups lemon-sugar mixture to a pitcher and add 8 cups water. Stir the lemonade, taste it to make sure it's not too sweet for you. Add more water if necessary.
    • Pour in the lemonade in glasses! Garnish each glass with sliced lemons.
    • Store lemonade in the refrigerator.


    * After you mash the lemons according to the recipe instructions, you should get 2 cups of lemon juice. If you are using smaller lemons, you would need between 8-10 lemons. 
    As written, this lemonade has the perfect amount of sweetness for me, but it goes without saying that you could adjust the sweetness or lemon flavor to taste.


    Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 51.5mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.6mg
    Course Drinks
    Cuisine American
    Did you make this recipe?

    Use the tag #DeliciousMeetsHealthy when posting a picture of your recipe, and make sure to follow @deliciousmeetshealthy on Instagram!

    July 8, 2018

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    5 stars
    We have a lemon tree that produces lemons year round. This is the best recipe we’ve tried for delicious, instant lemonade. Genius to mash the lemons and sugar with the potato masher!

      I wish we had a lemon tree in our yard as well, but it gets too cold here in North AL in the winter. I am glad to hear you loved the recipe! 🙂


    5 stars
    Such a simple recipe, yet so delicious! 😋 it’s so perfect for summer. I’m a huge lemonade fan and so are my kids. Thanks for all the tips!


    5 stars
    pretty good.


    5 stars
    Just finished making a pitcher of this. It was a bit of work mashing that big bowl of lemon slices, but it got easier as they softened. It’s sweet enough for my kids and tart enough for me. Many thanks for the recipe 🙂


    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. I love homemade lemonade and this was the best! Will be making it again.


    5 stars
    My kids love it. Great recipe. Thanks

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      Awesome!! SO glad they love it!! 🙂


    I currently drink about 1 (sometimes 2) cans of soda (pepsi) a day and am looking for a healthier alternative would this be a good one?

      Delicious Meets Healthy

      Yes, absolutely! This lemonade is a great healthy alternative to soda.


      5 stars
      The recipe is really good.


    5 stars
    I’d like to make this for my daughters small wedding. I was wondering if the strained lemon/sugar mixture could be made the day before, adding the water the day of the event.

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      Yes, absolutely! Just chill it in the fridge, and add water before the event. Everyone will love it!


    5 stars
    I love the fact that you don’t have to make the simple syrup for this lemonade! So convenient for when it is hot out.

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      Thank you, Beth! yes, perfect for hot days!


    5 stars
    My mouth is literally watering looking at this recipe! Everyone needs a homemade lemonade recipe in their back pocket. Just pinned this one…thanks!


    Yum! I love lemonade. I will be making this soon.

    Pam Greer

    5 stars
    I love this simple lemonade recipe! You’re right store bought lemonade just tastes strange! 3 ingredients sounds perfect!

    Patty @ Spoonabilities

    5 stars
    Lemonade perfection! There really is nothing like it. Thank you for sharing your recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

    The Novice

    I absolutely love homemade lemonade. Nothing bought from the store or ordered at a restaurant can compare! It’s the perfect summer drink

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