This homemade Lemonade recipe is fresh, fruity, and delicious! With just three ingredients and my helpful tips, you can easily make your own!
My Best Ever Homemade Lemonade Recipe
Just the word lemonade is filled with nastolgia. It brings you right back to childhood and long summer days you thought would never end.
You would think that perfecting a recipe that uses just three simple ingredients would be easy, but I made A LOT of lemonade before I got the perfect combination. This recipe is my best lemonade recipe that was tested to perfection!
Why This Recipe Works
- Simmering lemon zest gives an extra lemon taste as well as adding a yellow hue without artificial coloring.
- Adding Lemon Slices to the glass instead of the pitcher adds flavor and color without soaking them too long, causing bitterness.
- Serving over ice won’t water down the lemonade like with adding ice to the pitcher.
Buying Lemons For Lemonade
When buying lemons, choose larger lemons as they are juicer than smaller sized. Go for the ones with smooth firm skins that feel heavy for their size (indicating a juicy lemon). Avoid any that are soft or spongy, with any wrinkles or too many bumps as they won’t be as juicy.
If you’ll be using the zest always choose unwaxed lemons.
How To Juice A Lemon
- Wash your lemons thoroughly.
- Roll them firmly on a hard surface until they become soft. This will make it easier to juice.
- Juice using either a handheld juicer* (over a bowl) or an electric juicer* by pressing the lemon into the juicer cut side down.
* As an Amazon Associate, a small commission is made from qualifying purchases
If your lemons aren’t very ripe, microwave them on high for 20 to 30 seconds to help juice flow more easily.
How To Make Lemonade From Scratch
- Zest and juice the lemons zesting the lemons before juicing.
- Simmer the zest with sugar and water to release flavors and dissolve the sugar.
- Strain the lemon juice and sugar mixture into a large pitcher to remove pulp and seeds and zest.
- Add cold water and mix well.
- Chill and serve over ice.
Step By Step Instructions.
Zest the lemons.
Use a Microplane to zest by running the whole lemon in one direction against the blades (turning the lemon as you go removing only the yellow part – the white is bitter).
If you don’t have a Microplane, you can use a pairing knife to remove the peel and use the peel instead of zest.
In a pot over medium heat, add sugar, lemon zest, and two cups of hot water.
Simmer stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
There’s no need to boil the water. You just want to simmer to release flavor, dissolve the sugar, and enhance the yellow color.
Strain the mixure into a large bowl or pitcher to remove the zest.
Juice the lemons and strain the juice to remove the pulp, seeds, and zest.
Add it all to a pitcher (if you haven’t already) with 4 cups of cold water.
Taste to make sure it’s not for sweetness and if it’s too sweet add more water a little at a time until it reaches the desired sweetness.
To keep from watering down the mixture, add ice to the glass instead of the mixture.
Serve over ice in a glass garnished with lemon slices.
Erren’s Top Tips
- Always zest lemons before juicing. Zesting a lemon that’s already juiced is much harder to do!
- Roll your lemons under your palm on the cutting board adding as much pressure as possible to make it easier to juice.
- If your lemons aren’t very ripe, microwave them on high for 20 to 30 seconds to help juice flow more easily.
- Speed up juicing by using an electric juicer.
- To keep from watering down your lemonade, add ice to the glass instead of the mixture.
No, lemon juice is the juice straight from the fruit while lemonade is lemon juice mixed with water and sugar.
Stored the the fridge, fresh lemonade will last about 7 days.
You can freeze it by pouring it into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 5 months. When ready to use, allow the mixture to thaw before serving in a pitcher.
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- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup lemon zest about 4 lemons
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice about 6-12 lemons depending on size (plus more for garnish)
- 2 cups hot water
- 4 cups cold water more as needed
- Zest the and juice the lemons.
- In a pot over medium heat, add sugar, lemon zest, and two cups of hot water.
- Simmer stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has a yellow hue. There's no need to boil the water.
- Strain the lemon juice and sugar mixture into a large pitcher to remove the pulp, seeds, and zest.
- Add in 4 cups of cold water.
- Taste to make sure it's not for sweetness and if it's too sweet add more water a little at a time until it reaches the desired sweetness.
- Serve over ice in a glass garnished with lemon slices.
- Store in the refrigerator.