When is the last time you made homemade lemonade?  A big old pitcher of cold sweet tart lemonade, probably the most refreshing drink of summer (we are talking nonalcoholic drinks here; I’m up for a debate about a chilled glass of rose).  It’s stupidly easy, and people go bonkers for it.

Homemade Lemonade

You can double or triple this recipe as needed/desired, and know that you can dial up and down the sweetness or the tartness as you and your people like.   We like our on the slightly tart side.  But the good news is that once you have a batch of simple syrup made and ready to go (simple syrup is just sugar dissolved in hot water and then chilled), people can add a bit more sweetness to their individual glasses.  Everyone gets the lemonade of their wishes.

Homemade Lemonade: A big old pitcher of cold sweet tart lemonade is probably the most refreshing drink of summer and very easy to make.

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How to Make Homemade Lemonade

The most important thing is to use fresh lemon juice.  You won’t get the same fresh flavor by using lemon juice available in bottles, which is often made from concentrate.  If that’s what you’ve got, go for it, but the rewards for juicing your own lemons are evident in a pitcher of from-scratch lemonade.  The task of juicing lemons is one that I am often happy to delegate, and that anyone can do (don’t let your kids tell you otherwise).

Pour fresh lemon juice into a pitcher.

Homemade Lemonade

Add simple syrup to taste (click to read more about simple syrup).

Homemade Lemonade

Add cold water.  You can add some ice to the pitcher to keep the lemonade very cold. Or, do as I do and to serve the lemonade in glasses over ice so the whole pitcher of lemonade doesn’t get diluted.

Homemade Lemonade

Pour into ice-filled glasses, garnished as you wish.  I like to garnish my lemonade with fresh mint leaves and slices of lemon, but you can pick one or the other, or skip the garnish altogether.  Raspberries or other berries are a nice pop-of-color additional as well.  If you wanted to make pink lemonade you could blend up a few raspberries or strawberries and stir them right into the lemonade.

Homemade Lemonade

For limeade, use lime juice instead of the lemon juice.  Or, try and blend of lemon and lime juice for lemon-limeade.

Fresh lemonade lasts for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.  

Homemade Lemonade

Other Non-Alcoholic Summer Drinks:

Other Lemon Recipes:

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Homemade Lemonade

A big old pitcher of cold sweet tart lemonade is probably the most refreshing drink of summer and very easy to make.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup simple syrup , or more to taste
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Mint leaves to serve (optional)
  • Thin lemon slices to serve


  • In a pitcher combine the lemon juice, simple syrup and water. You can add ice to the pitcher, or I prefer to serve the lemonade in glasses over ice so the lemonade doesn’t get diluted.
  • Garnish with the mint leaves and lemon slices, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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