This Easy Homemade Lemonade recipe makes the BEST fresh squeezed lemonade, with just 3 ingredients! It’s perfectly sweet (not too sweet!) and makes the perfect refreshing summer drink for potlucks, BBQ’s.

Lemonade is one of those homemade drinks my family enjoys all year round, but especially during the warm summer months. Other easy homemade drink recipes we make regularly include Sparkling Mint Limeade, Easy Orange Julius, and Strawberry Lemonade!

A pitcher of fresh squeezed lemonade with lemon slices and ice and lemons in the background.

Easy Homemade Lemonade

If I had to issue one warning about this recipe it would be that it will ruin your tastes buds for any type of store-bought lemonade. No other lemonade recipe will ever measure up! There’s seriously nothing more refreshing than a big glass of cold, fresh squeezed lemonade.

My favorite thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make, with just 3 ingredients that I usually always have. I also love how you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. I always make my lemonade on the sweeter side, and then I add a ton of ice to the pitcher. By the time the ice begins to melt I’m left with the perfect lemonade–it’s absolutely delicious! I also usually double the recipe, because we drink it so quickly.

Overhead photo of a clear glass bowl with lemons in it.

Lemonade ingredients:

The ingredients for homemade lemonade couldn’t be simpler! You can make lemonade with the following 3 ingredients:

  • Lemons: Fresh lemons are essential for this recipe to get that great fresh-squeezed lemonade taste. Depending on the size of your lemons, you will need between 6-8 medium size lemons to get 1 ½ cups of lemon juice for this recipe.
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar gets dissolved in water to create a simple syrup.
  • Water: How much water you add really depends on how sweet you like your lemonade.

Ingredients for lemonade including a measuring cup with lemon juice, saucepan with water and bowl of sugar.

How to make lemonade:
  1. Make a simple syrup. Add sugar and 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Juice your lemons. Strain the lemon juice through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher.
  3. Combine syrup and lemon juice. Add more water, to taste, until you reach your desired lemonade sweetness.
  4. Chill. 

A mason jar with homemade lemonade, ice, lemon slices and mint and more whole lemons and mint in the background.

How to juice your lemons, (and how to pick good lemons for making lemonade):

When choosing lemons from the grocery store, look for lemons that are tender to the touch, indicating they are juicy. If you pick up two lemons that are about the same size, the one that is heavier will be juicier.

Make sure the lemons are at room temperature before you try and squeeze the juice from them.

To juice the lemons, you have a few options:

  • Use a handheld juicer, like this one, or this.  Place the lemon inside with the cut-side facing down.
  • Use a fork. The tines of the fork and the bent edge of the fork can be used to work your way around the inner flesh of the fruit to get all of the juice out.
How to freeze homemade lemonade:

You can freeze the lemon juice concentrate from this recipe and save it to make homemade lemonade, any time. Mix the cooled simple syrup and fresh squeezed lemon juice together. Pour into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 5 months.

When ready to use, allow the mixture to thaw and add it to a pitcher. Add water, to taste, until you reach your desired sweetness.

Interested in more homemade beverages?  Some of my favorites are:

 

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Recipe

A pitcher of fresh squeezed lemonade with lemon slices and ice and lemons in the background.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice , about 6-8 lemons
  • 4 ½ - 5 cups water , divided

Instructions
 

  • Combine sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  • Strain the lemon juice through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart pitcher. Add simple syrup and stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold.
  • When ready to serve, add 2 ½ cups of cold water and stir. Taste, and add more water if it's too sweet.
  • Serve with ice, thinly sliced lemons and fresh mint, if desired. 

Notes

Makes about 7 cups of lemonade.
Make Ahead Instructions: This lemonade can be made and kept covered in the fridge up to a day or two in advance. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 7 days, but I promise it won't last that long!
Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the lemon juice concentrate from this recipe and save it to make homemade lemonade, any time. Mix the cooled simple syrup and fresh squeezed lemon juice together. Pour into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 5 months. Allow the mixture to thaw and add it to a pitcher. Add water, to taste, until you reach your desired sweetness.

Nutrition

Calories: 232kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 17mgPotassium: 55mgFiber: 1gSugar: 58gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

*I originally shared this recipe May 2015. Updated April 2019.

 

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. I made this last night, but instead of regular sugar I use sugar in the raw, I must say, this is delicious and yes I probably will make my own and my granddaughter likes it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi,

    I would love to make this. Question, if I am doing the double one, is it minimum 2 cups of water for the heated pan? I like a sweeter lemonade, so will I necessarily need to add any more water at some point? Thank you.

  3. What if I like the pulp in the lemonade…or at least some proportion left in? And what about using the old style glass manual juicers?

    1. 5 stars
      After you strain the pulp use the cold water use have to use to put the right amount you want. I like the pulp as well. Basically you are rincing the pulp back in.

    2. Robert, my grandmother always did hers this way so yes, you can too. As a matter of fact, I have her glass juicer and use it to this day.

  4. I made this lemonade and it is so good. I add just a little extra sugar cause I like mine really sweet. Will make this some more this summer. Perfect drink for a lazy afternoon.

  5. I used this to make the syrup for a classic MPls golf course drink “Bootleg”. 1 part lemon & lime simple syrup, 2 parts gin or vodka, mint to taste and blend. Pour over ice and add 6-9 oz lime bubbly water.

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