There is nothing quite like a big, refreshing glass of homemade lemonade. It is a wonderful way to cool down in the summer and a great, sweet treat to enjoy any afternoon. With the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, homemade lemonade really can’t be beaten.
While it is definitely easy to buy a bottle of Truly Lemonade or Calypso Lemonade at the store, store bought lemonade really doesn’t compare to homemade lemonade. The flavor difference is huge! Fresh homemade lemonade is just way, way better.
Luckily, it isn’t very hard to make lemonade from scratch. All you need are a few simple ingredients and you can be sipping on a big glass of fresh squeezed lemonade in no time.
We are going to tell you all about homemade lemonade. There are some tips and tricks we want to share to help you make the best drink possible and, of course, we have a fantastic homemade lemonade recipe that we know you will love. Let’s dive right in!
You don’t need much to make a perfect pitcher of lemonade. In fact you just need 4 ingredients! Take a quick look at what you need to make homemade lemonade. You may already have everything in your house, ready to go!
- Sugar- Regular white sugar is perfect for sweetening our lemonade. It dissolves well and can be found unjust about every grocery store in the world.
- Honey- We love adding honey to our lemonade. It adds a subtle, rich taste that really makes this drink pop. A little honey sweetens the lemonade a little bit more and adds depth to the drink.
- Lemon Juice- Fresh squeezed lemon juice is essential. Fresh lemon juice really does taste better than any bottled juice you can find. It is more tart, more potent and will really make your lemonade recipe stand out.
- Water- Lemon juice is delicious but it is strong. You need to dilute it a little bit with some water. We also use water to make our simple syrup which sweetens the drink.
Once you have gathered all of your ingredients together, grab a small pot, some measuring cups, a rubber spatula and a large pitcher. You will also need a citrus juicer and a sharp knife to help squeeze the lemon juice. But let us tell you a little bit more about how to do that, too.
Cut a lemon in half and then squeeze it. Juice will come out! Sounds simple but there are actually a few tips and tricks to help you get the most lemon juice possible out of your lemon.
Our homemade lemonade recipe uses 1 cup of lemon juice.
How many lemons for one cup of juice? About 5! Five regular sized lemons will give you about a cup of juice. Use our tips and tricks below to make sure you get as much juice possible out of each lemon.
- Lemons do not continue to ripen once they are picked off the tree. It is essential to choose a lemon that is nice and ripe because it will have the most juice. A ripe lemon will look glossy and feel a little bit soft when you squeeze it. Stay away from lemons that have green skin and are super hard.
- Put your lemons in the microwave for 10 seconds. You will be able to get more juice out of a warm, soft lemon.
- Gently roll the whole lemon on your countertop, pressing down on the lemon as you rock it back and forth under your palm. This helps break the lemon juice vessels inside the fruit, releasing more of the juice.
- Use a handheld citrus reamer or an electric juicer to get the most juice out of the lemon as possible. Citrus juicers have a unique design that breaks up the lemon as they twist, making the juice pour out of the lemon very easily. A good citrus juicer is a great investment!
After making our homemade lemonade recipe quite a few times, we have definitely found that 5 large lemons will make plenty of juice. Using these tricks, you may be able to get 1 cup of juice from 4 lemons but buy 5 just to be safe!
There are a few different types of lemons that you may find in your local grocery store. Regular, large lemons will work perfectly. However, if you are looking to make some fancy juice, you may want to try a different type of lemon. Here is a quick look at different lemon varieties and how they will change the taste of your homemade lemonade.
- Eureka and Lisbon Lemons- Eureka lemons and Lisbon lemons are the most common types of lemons sold in the grocery store. They have rougher, thick skin which makes them easy to transport and store. They are good for lemon zest and also for juice.
- Meyer Lemons- Meyer lemons have a floral taste that can make fantastic juice. They are smaller in size so you will need 1-2 more lemons to get the same amount of juice.
- Bearss Lemons- Bearss lemons can be found in grocery stores and look very much like every other lemon. Bearss lemons are much bigger than the standard lemon so they have more juice. If you see those big, juicy lemons in the grocery store, they are probably Bearss!
- Variegated Pink Lemon- Variegated pink lemons are a little harder to find but will help you make true, authentic pink lemonade. The lemons are yellow with pale green stripes. Cut into one and you will find a pale pink flesh. These lemons will give you a nice, pink lemonade that is sweet, sour and very pretty.
There is no comparison between bottled lemon juice and fresh lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice will always taste better. Choose the juiciest, most tender lemons possible and you can never go wrong!
Making fresh lemonade from scratch is insanely easy. The whole process only takes about 5 minutes. Maybe ten minutes if you take your time squeezing the lemons. Maybe 15 minutes if you pause to look up lyrics for Lemonade by Beyonce while you are making the drink…
Take a look at how to make lemonade and then get ready to never buy Simply Lemonade ever again.
- Add the sugar, cup of water and honey to a small pot and bring to a boil. This will dissolve the sugar and honey and make it mix into the lemon juice evenly.
- Let the syrup cool while you cut and squeeze the lemon juice.
- Pour the freshly squeezed lemon juice into a big pitcher along with the cooled syrup. Stir the mix together.
- Add the rest of the water and stir again.
- Enjoy the lemonade right away over ice or store the pitcher in the fridge.
See how easy it is to make homemade lemonade? It may just be time to set up a lemonade stand in front of your house and start selling this lemonade- everyone is going to go crazy for it. That secret ingredient called honey really does make a difference.
We have made homemade lemonade more that a billion times. Seriously. We are probably in the billions. It is just so classic, so pure and a drink that is great for every occasion and for all different people.
Since we are lemonade pros, we have a few tips and tricks to help you make the perfect drink. Take a look at our little lemonade secrets before you start mixing.
- Replace the honey with maple syrup for an even richer lemonade. This is great for winter when you want a refreshing drink but something with a little more depth.
- Make the simple syrup in the microwave. Simply put the water, sugar and honey in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 1-2 minutes. The sugar will dissolve quickly and evenly.
- Double or triple the recipe. You are going to want more!
- Pour some of the finished lemonade into popsicle molds. Lemonade pops are amazing.
- Strain the lemon juice for a pulp free lemonade. Keep the pulp for a more homemade taste and texture.
- You can make this lemonade recipe with store bought lemon juice. It is a fast way to whip up a batch of homemade lemonade without having to squeeze any lemons. Make sure the lemon juice you buy is 100% lemon juice with no additives. You want only the best!
Do you have a lemonade making tip we need to know? Tell us in the comments below! We want all of your lemonade secrets and we want them now!
There are a lot of lemonade brands out there to choose from. There are small individual bottles of lemonade and larger gallon sized pitchers. One trick to finding the best, highest quality lemonade is to choose lemonades that are in the refrigerated section in the grocery store. Refrigerated lemonade is typically made with fresh lemon juice rather than concentrate. It will also have fewer preservatives and additives when compared to shelf stable lemonade.
These are our current, favorite brands of lemonade and a little bit about why you should try each one.
Simply Lemonade- Simply Lemonade is part of the Simply brand which focuses on pure juice with minimal ingredients. It is made with pure filtered water, lemon juice, cane sugar, and natural flavors. You can grab large bottles of Simply Lemonade or individual mini sizes.
Hubert’s Lemonade- Hubert’s lemonade is another brand that tries to use minimal additives. It tastes very much like homemade lemonade and it even comes in a ton of interesting flavors. Hubert’s lemonade is made with filtered water, lemon juice from concentrate, cane sugar, citric acid, natural flavors and stevia extract.
Calypso Lemonade- Calypso lemonade is the original flavored lemonade. It comes in a wide range of flavors from pineapple peach to blue calypso. But, of course, we like the original the best. It’s not too sour, not too sweet and usually kept perfectly chilled. Inside the bottle you’ll find filtered water, sugar, lemon juice concentrate, citric acid, lemon fruit pulp, modified food starch, and beta carotene.
Nantucket Nectars- Nantucket nectars is a great example of classic lemonade in a bottle. It is sweet, pure and reliably delicious. All that goes into a bottle of Nantucket Nectar lemonade is water, lemon juice, sugar, lemon pulp, acerola fruit extract, acacia gum and natural flavors.
Do you have a favorite fresh lemonade brand? Let us know which one! While we love making our own homemade lemonade, we know that you may not always have time to whip up a batch. These pure, simple lemonades are great options.
5 Best Homemade Lemonade Recipe Variations
We love taking a simple recipe and switching it up to be a little bit different and a little unique. Here are a few ways we have changed this recipe to make it even more flavorful.
1. Matcha Lemonade
Add a tablespoon of matcha tea powder to our lemonade recipe, whisking it into the warm honey simple syrup. You may want to increase the sugar to one full cup as matcha is a little dry tasting. However, matcha, lemon and honey are a match made in heaven.
2. Peach Lemonade
Peel and remove the pit from two large, ripe peaches. Puree the peaches in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Stir the peach puree into the pitcher of lemonade for an incredibly fresh peach lemonade.
3. Lavender Lemonade
Add a tablespoon of dried lavender buds to the simple syrup. Once the syrup boils, cover and let the lavender steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the syrup to remove the lavender and discard the buds. Make the rest of the recipe using the lavender honey syrup and you will have a fantastic lavender lemonade.
4. Pink Lemonade
Replace the lemon juice with pink lemon juice from pink variegated lemons. If you can’t find pink lemons, just add one drop of pink food coloring to the lemonade and stir. You don’t want the lemonade to be too bright pink so just one drop of color will do!
5. Lemon Limeade
Use ¾ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice to make a fantastic lemon-limeade.
There are so many different ways to make homemade lemonade that the possibilities really are endless. Our lemonade recipe is a great starting point and can be tweaked and altered in quite a few ways. You can even create a drink like Truly Lemonade that is fizzed to perfection! Of course, we prefer to leave out the alcohol because who needs a spiked lemonade when the non alcoholic version is so good?
Once you have mastered how to make lemonade at home, you want to be able to serve that perfect lemonade in a beautiful way. We have quite a few lemonade accessories that we think you need, especially if you are a lemonade addict like us.
- Lemonade dispenser- There are quite a few lemonade dispensers you can choose from. There are models that come with a stand and some that can hold two, large lemonade dispensers. Some dispensers will also keep the lemonade chilled. Look for a lemonade dispenser that suits your personal needs. You want one that will highlight your beautiful homemade lemonade and make it easy to pour!
- Lemonade Straws- A nice set of straws will help your lemonade look great and make it easy to drink. We love these straws that are also covered in lemons!
- Lemonade Glasses- Pour your lemonade into fancy glasses like these and you just can’t go wrong! Having a nice lemonade glass will make your lemonade feel even fancier.
- Handheld Juicer- A lemonade juicer or lemonade reamer is essential to getting all the juice possible out of every lemon. Handheld juicers will always work and never require batteries or electricity. Sometimes simple is best!
- Electric Citrus Juicer- If you plan on making a lot of lemonade, you may want to invest in anelectric citrus juicer. They work quickly to extract as much juice out of your lemons as possible. All lemonade pro’s need one of these in their kitchen.
- Lemonade Stand- You may want to try making a little cash on the side by setting up a lemonade stand. You have the perfect lemonade recipe, why not sell it!? Grab these lemonade stand supplies and you will be ready to go!
Did we forget any essential lemonade accessories? Let us know in the comments below! We want to be fully prepared to make lemonade in the best, fanciest way possible.
Homemade Lemonade: Final Thoughts
Homemade lemonade is a drink that so many people love. It is such an easy drink to make that everyone should really have a big pitcher on hand, ready to serve at all times. We make this lemonade recipe all summer long and never grow tired of it!
Give our homemade lemonade recipe a try and we know that it will quickly become your favorite, easy summer drink. Enjoy!