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+ servings

Homemade Lemonade

Nothing says "summer" quite like a glass of old-fashioned, freshly-squeezed homemade lemonade. It's made from scratch with just 3 simple ingredients!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword easy lemonade recipe, Homemade Lemonade, lemonade recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 138kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 lemon zest strips
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Optional garnish: lemon slices; fresh mint


Make the Lemon Simple Syrup:

  • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water, sugar and lemon zest strips to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard lemon zest. Allow to cool completely.

Stir together Lemonade:

  • In a large pitcher, combine the remaining 3 cups of water, lemon juice and simple syrup. Taste and add extra water, if necessary. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint.


  • Add Water: if the lemonade tastes too sweet or too tart with the standard ratio, you can add at least 1-2 cups of water (or more) to the pitcher, until it reaches your preferred taste. I always start with less water, since you can easily add more if necessary.
  • Less Sugar: you can make the simple syrup with just ¾ cup of sugar for a slightly less-sweet glass of lemonade.
  • Homemade Lemonade with Honey: make the simple syrup with 1 cup of honey instead of granulated sugar. Since honey is sweeter than sugar, you may need to add extra water to your lemonade at the end.
  • Homemade Strawberry Lemonade: substitute 1 cup pureed, strained fresh strawberries for 1 cup water when making the simple syrup.
  • How to make Fizzy Lemonade: Make the simple syrup as instructed with regular water. Then stir together the simple syrup, lemon juice, and 3 cups (or more) of club soda or plain seltzer water.
  • Try a "Mocktail": I love to mix the lemonade with flavored seltzer water -- such as raspberry or strawberry -- for a fun mid-afternoon "mocktail" on a hot day!
  • Big Batch Lemonade Recipe: To prepare a larger batch of the homemade lemonade, simply multiply all of the ingredients. For instance, double the recipe by using 8 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of lemon juice.
  • Lemonade from Bottled Lemon Juice: while freshly-squeezed lemon juice is always best, you can also make this recipe using bottled lemon juice. It just won't have quite as fresh a taste, so it's not my preference.


Serving: 1/6 of the recipe | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg