This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure page here.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget to pin this fresh lemonade recipe on your ‘Summer Recipes’ board on Pinterest.
How To Make Homemade Lemonade
Homemade Lemonade Recipe
- 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.
Use the tag #DeliciousMeetsHealthy when posting a photograph of your recipe, and make sure to follow @deliciousmeetshealthy on Instagram!