Classic Homemade Lemonade is the epitome of summer! Sweet, tart, and refreshing, it’s perfect for lounging with friends on the porch, and backyard BBQs!
Summer isn’t summer without a big pitcher of the best homemade lemonade in your fridge at all times. Made with only three ingredients – this classic lemonade is so refreshing! At this moment we’re packing up our home to move to Canada. Packing and moving boxes is an exhausting job. Making a large batch of lemonade was the best thing I did for us. Even though it’s not too hot outside yet, all the hard work makes us pretty tired, and the lemonade is just so refreshing, it recharges our batteries right away. For later I plan on making my favorite Mint Julep Lemonade, this is an adult beverage but it will be just what we need after a long day!
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How to make homemade lemonade
The way I prefer to make my lemonade recipe is with a concentrated lemon syrup that I accomplish with lemon and sugar. However, if I don’t have space in my fridge, I put together the lemon syrup and keep it in a smaller container so I can make lemonade whenever I want by diluting the syrup with water.
I also prefer to add some lemon zest into my syrup to enhance the lemon flavor! But don’t worry the lemon zest is strained out of the syrup after it has been made. Adding that zest adds more lemony goodness, so make sure not to skip that step!
In the recipe, I have recommended up to 8 cups of chilled water, to mix with this lemon syrup. The outcome will be a delicious lemonade that is sweet and tart, with a balanced lemon flavor. Although, if you’re like me, and you like lemonade extra strong – then I would only add about 6 cups of chilled water.
How to make the lemon syrup
I like to add the lemon syrup in two different steps. First, half of the lemon juice is cooked with the sugar to make a lemon syrup. Once this lemon syrup cools down, the rest of the lemon juice is added. I do this because I like the freshness of fresh lemon juice and the concentrated flavor of lemon syrup in my lemonade.
Here’s another trick to making sure you get ALL the juice from the lemons you use. Roll the lemon on a counter with a little pressure this will help release the lemon juice also making it easier to squeeze!
How to dilute the lemon syrup for the lemonade
The easiest way is to mix the lemon syrup with about 6 cups of chilled water first, and then add more water as necessary until you’re happy with the taste of your lemonade.
You can also add ice to this lemonade too! Just keep in mind that as the ice melts in your pitcher, the lemonade will become more diluted. You can adjust the water level, or add more lemon syrup to compensate for the melting ice. Mix your lemon syrup with some rose syrup, to have a floral-infused rose lemonade!
Add some lavender to the lemon syrup or some herbs, like thyme, or even a small amount of rosemary. Serve the lemonade with all natural color changing ice, to make a phenomenal, and magical Galaxy Lemonade that CHANGES COLOR when you add the lemon syrup! It’s a hit at children’s parties.
For more lemon recipes like this homemade lemonade
- Jalapeno Lemonade
- Hibiscus Lemonade
- Peach Raspberry Lemonade
- Hard Raspberry Lemonade
- More lemonade recipes…
Tools used to make this Classic Lemonade recipe
Lemon Juicer – Makes it much easier to juice the lemons.
Lemon zester – Zest is an essential ingredient in making this classic lemonade. Having a zester will make it easier to add the zest to the lemon syrup.
Glass Pitcher – I love pitcher drinks and this pitcher always gets oohs and ahhs from my friends and readers.
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 8 - 10 lemons
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest (2-3 lemons)
- 8 cups cold water to dilute
- Add 1 cup of the lemon juice into a saucepan, along with 1 ½ cup of sugar and the zest. Heat the two ingredients together on medium-high heat, while stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Continue to heat the lemon syrup until the lemon syrup starts to simmer.
- Set the saucepan aside and allow the syrup to cool down to room temperature.
- Stir in the rest of the ½ cup of lemon juice.
- Strain the lemon syrup to remove the zest.
- Allow the syrup to chill in the fridge until needed.
To make the Lemonade
- Mix the lemon syrup with about 6 cups of chilled water at first then stir to combine. Add the extra 2 cups of water if you want to dilute the lemonade further (to your taste). Pour the lemonade into a pitcher with additional lemon slices.
- Taste and add more fresh lemon juice or water if needed. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until needed.