Homemade Lemonade is refreshing and bright with fresh lemon juice and a bit of sugar to balance the sweet and sour.
Homemade Lemonade Recipe
Definitely do use fresh lemon juice for this one if you can. It makes it all the more refreshing and vibrant. The packaged stuff really doesn't compare when you're making lemonade from scratch. After all, the lemon juice is kind of the star of this drink, so go all in and use the fresh juice! And don't even get me started on frozen lemonade concentrate... This recipe takes just as little time to make but tastes SO much more incredible! Enjoy over a lot of ice, and add a sprig of mint for pretty garnish, if you'd like.
Who knew that some juice, sugar, and water could have such a bright lemon flavor!?
How to Make Homemade Lemonade
- Hot tap water: I use this to dissolve the sugar right in the pitcher instead of making a simple syrup!
- Granulated sugar: classic white sugar for lemonade. If you are using organic sugar just be sure to stir it long enough to dissolve, sometimes it takes a little longer than conventional sugar.
- Fresh lemon juice: (from about 8 lemons, depending on the size) this is the star of the show!
- Ice: because we used hot water to dissolve out sugar, ice is part of the recipe and I've planned on it melting about half way before serving for the perfect amount of water in the recipe.
- Cold water: You don't want all hot water, so you'll add additional cold water to your pitcher.
- Lemon slice: optional for serving, but boy to they make you feel fancy hanging off the rim of your cup.
- Note: you can use bottled lemon juice for this recipe, just try to get a good brand, the really cheap stuff can taste bitter and have a bad after taste. If you are really in a pinch you can use half store bought lemon juice and half freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Add the hot water and sugar to your pitcher and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add all the other ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Serve right away and add a slice of lemon to the rim of your glass if you'd like.
What percent of lemonade is lemon juice?
Traditional "old-fashioned" lemonade has about 15 percent lemon juice in it. This recipe has 1 part lemon juice, 1 part sugar, and 4 parts water, plus a lot of ice (which melts down to temper the sourness of lemon, too). You can always use less or more water depending on how sour or mild you like your lemonade.
Does homemade lemonade go bad?
Even though lemons are preservative citrus fruits, lemonade can go bad just like any other fresh food items. I'd recommend enjoying the batch within 3 days, and keep the pitcher refrigerated in between pours.
Does homemade lemonade need to be refrigerated?
Lemonade should be kept in the fridge to keep it nice, fresh, and cold! It'll help preserve it for longer, too.
Can you leave lemonade out overnight?
No, you shouldn't leave lemonade out overnight. In fact, the FDA says perishable foods should only be left out at room temperature for up to two hours before it's considered unsafe to consume. If you're enjoying the beverage at a barbecue or selling it with your kiddos at a neighborhood lemonade stand, it might be work keeping the pitcher on ice in a cooler or other bin to keep it cold and crisp.
Here are some more lemon recipes you may enjoy:
- 8 Different Homemade Lemonade Recipes (this is where you'll find my recipe for fruit lemonades like strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, etc.)
- Made to Order Lemonade aka Fresh Lemon Shake-ups (just like at the county fair!)
- North Carolina Lemon Pie
- Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken Legs
- Lemon Chiffon Cake
- Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
- Blueberry Lemon Muffins
- My kombucha recipe is so good lemon flavored!
If you’ve tried this lemonade recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation.Print
Easy Homemade Lemonade is refreshing and bright with fresh lemon juice and a bit of sugar to balance the sweet and sour. Read the NOTES in this recipe card to see my extra little trick to make this lemonade AMAZING!
- 2 cups hot tap water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 8 lemons)
- 4 cups ice
- 2 cups cold water
- Additional sliced lemons for serving
- Add the hot water and sugar to a large pitcher, and stir well until the sugar dissolves, about 90 seconds of stirring.
- Add the lemon juice and ice, and stir to combine well.
- Add the additional cold water, and stir to combine. Adjust the water to taste (if you like a less sweet lemonade, you may want to add more water).
- I love the trick of adding the hot water to the pitcher -- it's like making a fake simple syrup, and you don't have to wait for it to cool! You can definitely make a simple syrup though by heating the 2 cups of water and the sugar on the stove until dissolved. I recommend chilling your simple syrup before using.
- I don't recommend bottled lemon juice for this recipe, UNLESS you can find that fancy volcanic lemon juice from Italy (sold at Costco). Here's what it looks like on Amazon, but it's silly expensive there. Other options would be high quality lemon juices that aren't from concentrate.
- Want to take your lemonade up a notch? Zest 4 lemons and stir that lemon zest into the sugar before you add the sugar to the hot water! Mix the lemon zest and sugar together until it smells bright and fragrant. It's an extra step but that lemon oil in the zest adds tons of flavor to the lemonade and I like to do it occasionally when I'm in the mood to zest my lemons.
- Looking for variations on lemonade? You can find 8 more lemonade recipe here (they include things like raspberry, strawberry, and tropical lemonade).
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Category: drink
- Method: no bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: lemonade recipe, homemade lemonade recipe, drink
You need few other things than a tall glass of lemonade to make an afternoon perfect. This simple homemade lemonade recipe is going to be a stable in your home and you'll enjoy it again and again.