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
Add to Meal Plan

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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.

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 46gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 56mgSugar: 44gVitamin A: 120IUVitamin C: 14.9mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.2mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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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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Comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

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

    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!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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! 💕💕💕

  8. 5 stars
    Instead of sugar I used an equal amount of monkfruit to sweeten. Excellent sugar free alternative for diabetics.

    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).

  9. 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. 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!!!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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😊

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.