This Fresh Squeezed Lemonade recipe is made with just 3 ingredients! It’s perfectly sweet (but not too sweet!) and makes the best refreshing summer drink. Take it to a BBQ, Potluck, or just enjoy it at home.

Looking for more beverage recipes? Try my Strawberry Lemonade, Chocolate Milkshake, or Strawberry Banana Smoothie!

A pitcher of homemade lemonade.

What I love about this drink:

  • Delicious – This is the BEST lemonade recipe and will absolutely ruin your tastes buds for any type of store-bought lemonade. No other lemonade will ever measure up– it’s that good!
  • 3 Ingredients – Lemons, sugar, and water is all you need. It’s easy to adjust the sweetness to your liking. Be sure to serve it with lots of ice.
  • Freezer-Friendly – I love to double of triple the recipe, and freeze it (before adding water) so that we have fresh lemonade any time we want!

Lemonade 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.

How to Make lemonade:

Make 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.

A sauce pan with a simple syrup of sugar dissolved in water, ready to use to make lemonade.

Juice the Lemons: Strain the lemon juice through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher.

Fresh lemons being juiced, then poured through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher.

Combine Syrup and Lemon Juice: Add more water to taste, until you reach your desired lemonade sweetness.

A glass of lemonade with ice and a lemon slice on top.

Chill: Serve cold, over ice and enjoy!

Pro Tips:

  • How to Choose Juicy Lemons: 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.
  • How to Juice Lemons: Make sure the lemons are at room temperature before you try and squeeze the juice from them. If using a handheld juicer, like this one, or this, place the lemon inside with the cut-side facing down. You may also use a fork to juice lemons. 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.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: This easy lemonade recipe 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!).

To Freeze: 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.

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A pitcher of homemade lemonade.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes
Save Recipe


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


  • 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 over ice, if desired.


Yield: Makes about 7 cups of lemonade.
To Make Ahead: This easy lemonade recipe 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!).
To Freeze: 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.


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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*I originally shared this recipe May 2015. Updated April 2019 and May 2022.

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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.

4.92 from 157 votes (125 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. My husband likes the pulp. Would I still need to strain it or juice the lemons and throw it in with the pulp?

  2. This was insanely sweet! A typical 2qt pitcher (8 cups) will only need about half the amount of sugar, maybe a little more if you like it really sweet IMO. It was a fun experiment though!

  3. 5 stars
    I will never buy store brought lemonade again absolutely love this recipe will give it to all my family and friends thank you

  4. 5 stars
    Recipe was a big hit with my family. The only thing I minded was the sugar. I made it as is for my grandson and his family. As a diabetic I used 1/2 C sugar and 1 C sugar substitute at my house. No one knew I made the switch. It was just as good.

  5. 3 stars
    This is good, but wayyyyy more sweet than tart. If you’re looking for a tarter lemonade or just less sugar in general, consider lessening the sugar by a lot! I feel like you can hardly taste the lemon it’s so sweet.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 3 stars
    I make scratch lemonade a few times every year. Usually we just wing it and do a bunch of trial and error. I figured we’d try a recipe to save time. This was much too sweet for our family. We added additional water to dilute it. Next time I’ll cut the sugar by about a 1/3 because I prefer a stronger lemon to sugar ratio.

  12. 5 stars
    This is the 4th time I’ve made this LEMONADE. My husband and I love it. I’ve used home grown lemons. Thx a bunch😊

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe was just the right amount of sugar for me and my family…we love it! I add fresh mint leaves to my glass…Perfection…Thank you for sharing.

  14. 2 stars
    This was way too sweet for my taste, I wish I had added half the amount of simple syrup in the first time but unfortunately poured the entire thing in.

    1. The great thing about this recipe is you can make it as sweet as you want. If it’s too sweet, simply add more water.

  15. 5 stars
    i have a family of 6 and boy do we love this recipe with the hot whether coming this will be a go to drink

  16. Can’t wait to make this, during Pandemic days I have been trying new recipes! I wanted lemon aid, I have a can in the freezer, but was curious as to a recipe from scratch. We are coming on Spring/Summer now and want to be prepared with a great thirst quencher, other than soda! I am always happy with refrigerated spring water, we have a well and softened water, the amount of salt bothers me. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  17. 5 stars
    I love this lemonade! It’s sweet and tart. I prefer my lemonade on the sweeter side so this was perfect for me.

  18. 5 stars
    This recipe was good but the instructions were a bit unclear. My lazy self -laughs- had to scroll to the bottom to see how much sugar to use (2 cups) But overall pretty good! My son loved it but my daughter had diarrhea. She has a sensitive tummy like my one of my husbands! Oh, Phil! Anyway, love this recipe recommend.

  19. 5 stars
    It was so simple and great tastings lemonade. They say life gives you lemons make lemonade!! I would add a little lemon juice concentrate (from a bottle) to mine. I used 8 lemons to make it very flavorful ! Also I love u can freeze some and have it on stand by for a quick refreshing drink

  20. Incredible recipe!! Highly reccomend. I made this lemonade to make lavender-lemonade slushies. I boiled 1-2 tablespoons of culinary lavender in 3-4 cups of water and put it in ice cube trays in the freezer. When it is frozen, I’m going to put those ice cubes and the lemonade in the blender! Can’t wait!

  21. Thank you so much for all your recipes. You have totally saved me through so many holidays!! Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays. I appreciate your easy to follow receipts and video s, but Mostly I love how the food turns out so tasty. You are my go to search up for recipes!
    Thank you.

    1. Hi I wanted to ask is your last name Rollins??? I know it sounds weird for me asking for your last name, so PLEASE dont think of me as a creep!!!

  22. I’m going to try with coconut sugar. I cannot have white processed sugar. I’ll see how that turns out. Otherwise I usually use some honey and stevia for my single glasses. I will see how it turns out since I’m out of honey at the moment! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’ve never tested it with an artificial sweetener, but it should be fine if you follow the same method as the syrup (warming it in the saucepan to help the sugar dissolve).

  23. 5 stars
    Instead of sugar I used an equal amount of monkfruit to sweeten. Excellent sugar free alternative for diabetics.

  24. 5 stars
    I recently was given a bag of freshly picked lemons from someone’s backyard lemon tree, and wasn’t quite sure what to do with them all. This recipe was the perfect solution! Made it just as the recipe called for, and was truly blown away by how refreshing and yummy it was. I will never want store bought lemonade again! 💕💕💕

  25. 5 stars
    This lemonade recipe is perfect! I made the recipe as directed and it turned out wonderful! Can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for such a great recipe.

    1. I have not made it yet but love lemonade. My friends and I are having a lemonade stand to support Covid-19 support! Do you think kids coul d make it by themselves? Maybe you can do the same!!

  26. We love Lemonade, have not yet try fresh squeezed one, definitely need to give it a try.

  27. This recipes is great! I have the citrus juicer attachment for my mixer and I definitely need to use it more.

  28. I only like lemonade if it’s made fresh. This is exactly how I go about making my own, except I’ve never thought to add mint. I’m going to give that a go during my next batch. Thanks for sharing

  29. I know all about humidity and sweating, if you think St. Louis is bad, try Miami! LOL! I drink gallons of lemonade, I love it. And it’s already super hot here.

  30. Oh this looks yummy!! have never made my own lemonade so may have to give this one a go! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!