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Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Learn to make a homemade lemonade recipe with fresh lemons and simple syrup. Enjoy a cool glass of this refreshing classic drink which is the perfect balance of sweet and tart!

Homemade lemonade in a glass pitcher.
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Fresh Lemonade Recipe

I’m going to show you how to make the best homemade lemonade using simple syrup, fresh lemons, and water so that you’ll be able to whip up this beverage recipe on a whim!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Always room for a classic! I have recipes for blueberry lemonade and frozen strawberry lemonade, so now I’m sharing the classic lemon flavor!
  • Delicious. The perfect ratio of sweet and tart is something you can’t get from store-bought lemonade. It’s always one or the other!

Homemade Lemonade Recipe Ingredients

Lemonade ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds the best taste.
  • Water: Ice cold water ensures you can enjoy this right away.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar dissolves best to make the sugar syrup.

Flavor Variations

This is a simple lemonade recipe, which there’s always a place for. However, you can absolutely stir in added flavors for a twist!

Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your lemonade ingredients:

  • Lavender
  • Fresh herbs like basil, fresh mint, or rosemary
  • Peach purée
  • Raspberry purée

How to Make Lemonade

If you have lemons and sugar and an extra 10 minutes in your day, you’ll love how simple homemade lemonade is to make!

Showing how to make lemonade in a 4 step collage.
  • Prepare lemons. Wash them. Although we’re just squeezing the juice, you may want to add slices to your jug of lemonade, in which case they need to be clean. Gather the sugar and ice cold water and let’s get started.
  • Make simple syrup. Stir and bring water and sugar to a light simmer in a small pot over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. This can be done days in advance and kept in the fridge.
  • Squeeze and strain lemon juice. Slice the lemons in half and use a citrus juicer or your hands to squeeze out the juice. Strain it through a mesh strainer if you want to get rid of any pulp.
  • Prepare to serve. Add lemon juice and sugar water mixture into a pitcher. Sample a little and add more lemon juice or sugar. Chill homemade lemonade in the fridge and serve over ice. I like to add a garnish of lemon slices and mint leaves.

Expert Tips

  • The best type of lemons. The best types of lemons are the conventional ones you’d find at your local grocery store. Meyer lemons aren’t as citrusy.
  • How to pick lemons. Look for bright yellow lemons that are medium-sized. Smaller lemons work great, I find that the larger ones aren’t quite as juicy. The skin should be smooth, without bruising, and should be firm, yet have a slight give when pressed.
  • Juicing lemons. The easiest way is to use a citrus juicer, whether it’s a handheld juicer or citrus reamer. You can also use an actual juice extractor or your hands. Cut the lemons in half, get to squeezing, and then use a fork to extract as much as you can from the flesh inside the peel.
  • Easily double or triple the recipe. Whether you’re serving a crowd, or it’s just a hot summer day and you know people will want more, increase the amount you make as you see fit.
  • Extra lemons: Lemonade would pair nicely with a slice of these lemon bars made with homemade lemon curd!
Homemade lemonade in a pitcher.

Recipe FAQs

How many lemons to make homemade lemonade?

This recipe for fresh squeezed lemonade makes enough for 6 servings and I use 5 lemons.

Can I add carbonation to this drink?

Yes! Adding some fizz is a great idea. Lime soda for limeade, ginger ale, or even club soda would be great.

Is it possible to use natural sweeteners instead?

For sure. Typically, you’ll find that they offer a different taste, but they still work! Honey, agave, and stevia will all get the job done.


  • Leftover lemonade: Store whatever is left in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate it for up to 7 days.
  • Make ahead: Make the simple syrup up to 2 weeks in advance! It’ll keep in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
  • Freezing: Pour your homemade lemonade into popsicle molds for some equally delicious popsicles!
Homemade lemonade in a jar.

More fun summer recipes include lemon blueberry cupcakes, lemon meringue pie and lemon poke cake.

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Homemade lemonade in a pitcher.

Lemonade Recipe

5 from 2 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Learn to make a homemade lemonade recipe with fresh lemons and simple syrup. Enjoy a cool glass of this refreshing classic drink which is the perfect balance of sweet and tart!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 4-5 cups ice cold water , divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice , about 5 lemons

For serving: lemon slices, mint leaves


    • Combine 1 cup water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a light simmer over medium heat. Once it comes to a light boil, remove from heat and allow to cool. You can place in the fridge (on a heat pad) to cool faster.
    • Strain lemon juice through a mesh strainer if you'd like to remove pulp from lemon juice.
    • Add chilled syrup, 3-4 cups water and freshly squeezed lemon juice to a pitcher. Taste and add more water if desired. You can also add more lemon juice or sugar if desired. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
    • Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves, if desired.  


    Storage: Store leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge up to 7 days. 
    Double: This recipe is easy to double or tripple. 
    Make ahead: Make sugar syrup and refrigerate up to 2 weeks ahead of time. 


    Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.05mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Drinks
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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