Summertime is meant for beach trips, fireflies, and lots of homemade Lemonade. Here’s how to make Lemonade the easy way, without cooking or mashing, so you can get to the very important work of sipping.
Lemon juice and zest brightens everything it touches. It makes Lemon Bundt Cake a little zippier, Roasted Green Beans irresistible, and Lemon Rice Pilaf, the side dish of your dreams. If you’ve had a busy, lemony day in the kitchen and are left with a handful of skinless, zested lemons, put them to work in this refreshing, simple recipe for Lemonade.
There are many fancy store-bought lemonade mixes and concentrates out there, but nothing beats an icy glass of the real stuff, made by you. Thankfully, it’s easy to make with freshly squeezed lemon juice and granulated sugar. That’s it!
Bigger crowd than expected? Need more Lemonade? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Tips for making lemonade:
- Not all lemons are created equal. When purchasing lemons, choose large ones that give slightly to gentle pressure. Look for thinner skinned lemons. Avoid lemons that still have some green spots, as well as hard lemons with thicker skin. They’ll probably yield less juice.
- Before you begin juicing, in order to extract the most lemon juice, try this. Before you cut them, roll each lemon over your cutting board with the palm of your hand, pressing down firmly.
- Meyer lemons are sweeter and juicier than other lemon varieties. They make an amazing lemonade with delicious sweet flavor, but are usually only seeing the winter months.
- If you like extra lemony lemonade, add a little lemon zest to the blender, using a microplane tool. Not too much, though, or it might make the lemonade bitter.
How to make homemade Lemonade:
First, juice the lemons. If you don’t have a juicing tool or even an inexpensive citrus reamer, you can use something simple, like a fork, stuck into one lemon half, and squeeze the lemon carefully around the tines of the fork, over a measuring container.
If you’re planning on opening up that lemonade stand, you may want to invest in something a little more heavy-duty, like an electric citrus juicer. It also works for juicing limes for Margaritas, as well as making freshly squeezed orange juice for mimosas or Sunday breakfast. (BTW, if you feel like you need to upgrade your juicing setup, buying through these links helps with running this site, so thank you very much!)
Add the juice, sugar, water and ice to a blender. Blending the sugar together means that you don’t have to make a simple syrup for lemonade, let it cool, etc. The easier, the better.
(Proper proportions of lemon juice, sugar, and water are down below in the actual recipe–this is just a visual for you.)
Then blend the lemonade ingredients together until smooth, and serve over ice. Smooth sailing from here on out.
P.S. How to make limeade:
This technique works for limes, too, in case you get the urge to make homemade limeade.
How to make sugar free lemonade:
You can make a healthy lemonade by substituting the sugar with a natural sweetener such as honey, stevia, or monk fruit.
Lemonade with honey tastes just as good as old-fashioned homemade lemonade, just use less honey than the recipe calls for in sugar. Ounce for ounce, honey is sweeter. Start with using half the amount of honey, then add more if you think it needs it.
What is pink lemonade?
If strawberry lemonade is, well, strawberry lemonade, and raspberry lemonade is, um, raspberry lemonade, well then, what on earth is pink lemonade?
This popular beverage has an unusual history–maybe two unusual histories–both involving the circus.
One 1912 obituary claims that a man named Henry Allott accidentally invented pink lemonade when he dropped a bag of red cinnamon heart candies into a vat of lemonade being sold at a circus. The crowd drank it up, and pink lemonade was born.
However, according to the 1921 book The Ways of the Circus: Being the Memories and Adventures of George Conklin Tamer of Lions, pink lemonade was invented another way. In 1857, when a young circus worker, Pete Conklin, needed more water in a hurry for another batch of lemonade. In his rush, he grabbed a dirty tub of laundry water that had red circus tights soaking in it. The pink water was turned into lemonade, and the crowd drank it up. Ick.
Well, if you care to get the facts, you can order the book through the affiliated link–that helps run the site. Thanks!
Today, no matter what it’s made of, kids still love it, just like they love the circus.
Unique Lemonade Ideas:
Raspberry Lemonade. Drop a few berries in each glass or mash them at the bottom of the glass before you pour in the lemonade. Delicious!
Strawberry Lemonade. A handful of fresh strawberries blended into the lemonade gives a rosy hue and a sweet berry flavor to lemonade-no tights necessary. Garnish with a sliced strawberry.
Mint Lemonade. A couple fresh peppermint leaves added to the blender give the lemonade a cooling, minty sensation that’s perfect on a hot day. Mint garnish.
Sparkling Lemonade. Fizzy lemonade is fabulous! Blend the lemon juice and the ice together with the sugar, then pour it into glasses filled with ice and top generously with soda water or seltzer water.
Cherry Lemonade. A tiny drizzle of grenadine makes everything better.
Pink Lemonade. A few cinnamon candy hearts will turn homage lemonade into a blushing version of itself.
Shandy. On a hot summer day after yard work or anything, really, mix equal parts light beer and lemonade. Guzzle.
Lemonade and vodka. Vodka lemonade, especially a lemon flavored vodka, up the ante on lemon. Cheers!
Lemonade and rum. About as summery as it gets! Light rum works best.
How to Make Lemonade
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 5-6 lemons
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 4 cups water
- Add all ingredients to blender. Process until completely smooth. Serve over ice.