When the temperatures start to rise, nothing beats a refreshing glass of ice-cold freshly squeezed Lemonade. This simple lemonade recipe will be your new go-to drink to beat the heat this summer! If you are looking for an upgraded version of this lemonade, make sure to check out my Vodka Lemonade recipe and homemade Strawberry Lavender Lemonade!
How to Make The Best Homemade Lemonade
With that ingredient list, how can you go wrong? Well, believe it or not, you can. It all boils down to personal preference and a few simple tricks. To keep your lemonade game strong, here are some things you can do at home:
Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemons?
Lemon juice from a bottle is just not the same and it definitely doesn’t have that fresh flavor you get from real lemons. Plus, who knows what unpronounceable ingredients they put in the bottle to keep it on the shelf so long. To make sure you select the best of the best, make sure to look for lemons that are heavy for their size. Typically smaller lemons with bright yellow skin and no wrinkling have the best flavor. Avoid the lemons that are rock hard as well as the lemons that are way too soft.
Roll the Lemons
To get the most out of your lemons, roll them on a cutting board while adding pressure with your hands. This will help free the juices before you slice the lemon.
Strain the Lemons
Start by grabbing a medium bowl and placing a mesh strainer over the top. With your lemons cut in half, squeeze out as much juice as possible. I like to use a lemon juicer, but if you don’t have one you can use a pair of cooking tongs. Place the lemon inside the handle of the tongs and squeeze. As the liquid drains out of the lemon, the strainer will catch any unsuspecting lemon seeds as well as large chunks of lemon pulp. Don’t worry, if you like pulp in your lemonade, you can use the mesh strainer to fish out the seeds and then put the pulp back in.
Can I Reduce the Sugar?
This recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar and that was the perfect amount, for our tastes. You might like yours just a little less sugary. Add half of the sugar at first, let it dissolve in the lemon juice, and then adjust to your own taste buds. Just know that it will be tart at this stage because haven’t added the water.
Be Mindful of the Ice- No Watered Down Lemonade!
That may sound silly, but it is actually important. Have you ever made fresh lemonade and then added it to a pitcher of ice and 1/2 hour later it is diluted and blah? If you add 4 cups of ice you could potentially have up to 4 cups of water diluting your lemonade, which can definitely affect the flavor.
Although I added ice to the pitcher in the images, that is not how I typically serve it. I usually make the lemonade and then serve it with cups of ice or cups and an ice bucket. People usually drink lemonade before all of their ice melts so they can enjoy the pure flavor.
PRO TIP Robin Wojcik wrote on Facebook: “Make two batches. Pour one batch into ice cube trays and freeze them. Then use those ice cubes for your fresh lemonade.
Add a strawberry, blueberries or raspberries to each cube before freezing for variety.” Such a fantastic solution, thank you, Robin!
- 4 fresh lemons, about 1 cup juiced
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 cups ice water
- ice, crushed (as desired)
- Roll lemons on cutting board and then cut in half.
- In a large bowl, squeeze juice from lemons. Make sure to strain out any seeds or excessive pulp.
- Add sugar and water. Whisk well to combine, making sure the sugar has dissolved.
- In a large pitcher add ice. Pour lemonade mixture over ice. ((optional, see notes)
Did you make this recipe?
Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.