What’s more thirst-quenching on a hot summer day than a tall glass of homemade lemonade?

You’ll need just three ingredients (and one is water!) to make this delicious lemonade from scratch!

jug of Homemade Lemonade

A Fresh Summer Favorite

A fresh lemonade recipe is a favorite.

  • It’s so easy to make at home.
  • Easy and refreshing, this homemade lemonade recipe needs just 3 ingredients.
  • Squeeze the lemons and keep the juice in the fridge for a few days or freeze it for a few months.
  • Extra lemon simple syrup is great in all kinds of drinks or even tea!

Or, spike it with vodka for your next (adult) party!

lemon being squeezed into a measuring cup to make Homemade Lemonade

Ingredients for Lemonade

LEMONS – For the best flavor, use fresh lemons. Bottled lemon juice can be used but can sometimes have a bit of a bitter flavor. Don’t forget the lemon slices for garnish too!

SWEETENER – We use sugar to make a lemon simple syrup (make extra if you’d like, it’s great in tea or cocktails)! You can sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, or agave if you’d prefer.

WATER/ICE – Water and ice are needed to make this refreshing, thirst-quenching drink!

How Much Juice in a Lemon

Of course, this can vary depending on the size and quality of the lemon but each medium lemon should give you about ¼ cup of lemon juice.

This recipe requires 1 ¼ cups lemon juice so you will need approximately 6 lemons (more if they’re small or not juicy) plus extra for slicing for garnish if you’d like.

Variations

Add New Flavors: Try making it into a fresh strawberry lemonade, a raspberry lemonade or add watermelon, fresh mint leaves, or even make a limeade with fresh limes!

Make Pink Lemonade: For pink lemonade add a bit of cranberry juice, raspberry juice, or grenadine to reach the desired color.

Adjust the Sweetness: If homemade lemonade is too sweet, simply add more lemon juice and if it’s too tart, add a spoonful of sugar and a bit of water.

Make it Boozy: Spike it with a bit of vodka or flavored vodka if you’d like!

Homemade Lemonade being poured into a glass

How to Make Lemonade

Super simple and fun, homemade lemonade takes just 3 simple steps to make!

  1. Make Lemon Simple Syrup: Zest a few strips of the rind from a lemon (use a veggie peeler). Combine sugar, water, and lemon zest in a pan and simmer until dissolved.
  2. Juice Lemons: Squeeze the lemons to make 1 1/4 cups lemon juice.
  3. Add Water: Add ice and 6 cups of water to make 2 quarts and chill until serving.

Keep the garnish simple with lemons or serve it shirley temple style with pomegranates, orange slices, or cherries!

close up of 2 glasses of Homemade Lemonade with lemon garnish and ice

Tips & Make Ahead

  • Microwave the lemons for about 15-20 seconds and then roll on the counter to extract more juice.
  • Rinse and scrub lemons with a vegetable brush before zesting. Scrubbing them removes the wax that is sprayed on them during shipment.
  • Juice lemons using a juicer but if you don’t have a juicer, cut in half and put a fork into the lemon while squeezing.
  • If you’d prefer you can strain out the pulp. Pour the lemon juice through a coffee filter
  • Store lemonade in the refrigerator and stir it before serving.

More Summer Drinks

Did you love this Homemade Lemonade? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Homemade Lemonade in a pitcher with lemon slices
5 from 25 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Homemade Lemonade

This fresh homemade lemonade is the perfect refreshing drink.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 ¼ cups fresh lemon juice about 6-8 lemons
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar or simple syrup
  • ice
  • water
  • extra lemon slices for garnish

Instructions 

  • Peel 3 long strips of zest off of the lemons.
  • Combine sugar, 1 ½ cups water, and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.
  • Cut the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice using a juicer. If you don't have a juicer, place a fork in the lemon and gently squeeze while rocking the fork back and forth. You will need 1 ¼ cups lemon juice.
  • Place 1 ¼ cups lemon juice and 1 cup* of the simple syrup in a 2 QT pitcher.
  • Add ice and 6 cups of cold water. Stir to combine.
  • Taste and add more simple syrup if desired.

Notes

  • *If you prefer lemonade to be less sweet, start with 3/4 cup of simple syrup and add more to taste.
  • Microwave the lemons for about 15-20 seconds and then roll on the counter to extract more juice.
  • Rinse and scrub lemons with a vegetable brush before zesting. Scrubbing them removes the wax that is sprayed on them during shipment.
  • Juice lemons using a juicer but if you don’t have a juicer, cut in half and put a fork into the lemon while squeezing.
  • If you’d prefer you can strain out the pulp. Pour the lemon juice through a coffee filter
  • Store lemonade in the refrigerator and stir it before serving.
5 from 25 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 129 | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beverage, Drink
Cuisine American

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pitcher full of Homemade Lemonade with lemon slices and a title
Homemade Lemonade in glasses with lemon garnish and writing
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Homemade Lemonade in a jar and glasses with writing

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Just made this with my 8 soon to be 9 year old great grandson and he gives it 2 thumbs up.5 stars

  2. This is easy peasy and we also tried it sparkling….we used sparkling water with the simple sugar and lemon juice…..totally a crowd pleaser.

  3. I just made this for our Family Sunday dinner. I love this recipe. Most importantly I can regulate how much sugar goes inside it. If I need to make it for those members of the family who are diabetic. I can substitute the sugar with a sugar sweetener

    Thanks this is great. I also loved the Rosemary Dijon Pork Tenderloin. I make that one all the time.5 stars

    1. So happy this recipe works so well for your family! We love having that control over the sweetness too!

  4. Thank you for sharing this alcohol free drink/ beverage.
    Many of us don’t drink and need more ideas.5 stars

  5. I’m going to try it the next time I go shopping. I’m going to try it with 0 carb sweeteners recommended for keto.5 stars

  6. It’s perfect timing that this landed in my inbox. I bought lemons yesterday to make lemonade for a family gathering tomorrow. Thank you!