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two glasses of iced homemade lemonade with blue star paper straws

Easy Homemade Lemonade Recipe

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x


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


  1. Add the hot water and sugar to a large pitcher, and stir well until the sugar dissolves, about 90 seconds of stirring.
  2. Add the lemon juice and ice, and stir to combine well.
  3. 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