Nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than a cool glass of lemonade…and this homemade lemonade recipe made with real lemons will have your friends and family coming back for seconds!
Homemade Lemonade Recipe
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Whether I’m hosting a 4th of July BBQ or just having a cookout for a few friends, this homemade lemonade recipe is always a big hit.
Although I’m happy my friends like it, the best part for me is you can make the lemonade syrup ahead of time, and store it in the refrigerator.
Which means you can whip it out of the fridge at the last minute, add some water and it’s ready to go. It’s the perfect party drink that doesn’t take up a lot of your time while you’re trying to get ready.
The traditional version of homemade lemonade uses sugar as it’s sweetener, but you can also use honey. It has a slightly different taste, and looks a little darker, but still tastes good and has less calories. I have included both versions so you can try them both out and see which one you prefer.
Okay, here’s the shopping list (and it’s not very long!)
Lemons: I usually get 9 or 10 large lemons
Sweetener: Sugar (for the traditional recipe) or honey (for fewer calories)
Garnish: Fresh mint or lemon balm
To make homemade lemonade, you’ll need the following supplies:
- lemon grater
- measuring spoons and cup
- small saucepan
- lemon juicer
- glass container for storing the syrup if you’re not making it right away
- pitcher for serving
How to Make Homemade Lemonade
Make The Lemonade Syrup
The first step to making this homemade lemonade recipe is to make the lemonade syrup. This is kind of like the frozen lemonade concentrate that comes in a can. Only it tastes way better! And we’re not going to freeze ours.
To make it extra lemon-y, you’re going to start by grating some lemon rind.
When you’re doing this, try to only get the yellow part of the rind. The white part can make the lemonade bitter.
Then combine the grated rind, water and sugar or honey in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil making sure to stir it constantly (otherwise, the sugar will burn).
Once it is boiling turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat and let it cool completely. You can put it in the refrigerator if you want to speed up the process.
Meanwhile, juice the lemons into a glass storage jar.
When the sugar mixture has cooled add it to the lemon juice and mix well.
Then store the lemonade syrup in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. It will keep for about 3 weeks.
To Make The Lemonade
To make lemonade from the syrup, use 3 parts water to 1 part syrup.
For one cup of lemonade, combine 3/4 cup water with 1/4 cup of lemonade syrup.
For a pitcher, combine 4 1/2 cups of water with 1 1/2 cups of lemonade syrup.
Add sliced lemons and a few sprigs of mint or lemon balm for garnish.
Sit down and enjoy your refreshing drink!
Other Refreshing Drink Recipes You Might Like
- 1½ cups of water
- 1½ cups of granulated white sugar or ¾ cup of honey
- 2 Tablespoons grated lemon rind
- 9 or 10 lemons
- fresh mint or lemon balm optional
- Grate 2 Tablespoons of lemon rind from the lemons. Try not to grate too far into the skin...the white part is a little bitter.
- Combine the water, sugar or honey and the lemon rind in the saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool. You can speed up the process by covering it and putting it in the refrigerator for a while.
- Juice the lemons so that you have about 1¾ cups of lemon juice.
- Pour the lemon juice into a glass storage jar.
- When the syrup has cooled, add it to the jar and mix well.
The general rule of thumb is to add 1 part syrup to 3 parts water to make your lemonade. Of course, you can adjust the amount of water you use, depending on how strong you like your lemonade.
For an individual glass:
- Add 1/3 cup of the syrup to a glass.
- Mix in 1 cup of water
- Add some ice and garnish with a sprig of mint or lemon balm.
For a pitcher:
- Add 1½ cups of syrup to the pitcher (about half of the syrup recipe)
- Add 4½ cups of water to the pitcher.
- Add some ice and garnish with sliced lemon and fresh mint or lemon balm leaves.