This brown sugar lemonade is a refreshing combination of tangy freshly squeezed lemon juice with the comforting caramel-like sweetness of brown sugar. With a few basic ingredients, you can make a pitcher of this cool and flavorful drink, perfect for hot summer days or whenever you're in the mood for something different.
❤️Why you will love this recipe
- This brown sugar lemonade is delicious and makes an absolutely refreshing summer drink.
- It has a perfect balance of tangy and sweet taste.
- It is an easy recipe and is as simple to make as a regular lemonade.
- It only requires 3 simple ingredients - lemon juice, brown sugar, and water. In fact, the only difference between a regular lemonade and this brown sugar lemonade is that one uses white sugar while the other uses brown sugar and the amount used is also different given that brown sugar is less sweet compared to white sugar.
Here are my other lemon recipes you might want to check out:
- Classic Homemade Lemonade - 3 Methods
- Honey Lemonade
- Pink Blueberry Lemonade
- Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
- Lemonade Sorbet
- Lemonade Popsicles
- Lemon Juice - use freshly squeezed lemon juice and choose fresh lemons. Strain to remove seeds.
- Brown sugar - both dark brown sugar and light brown sugar will work for this recipe.
- Water - use filtered drinking water.
- Ice cubes (optional)
Caramelized lemon slices for garnish (optional)
- Water - use filtered water. This is used to make the sugar syrup to cook the lemon slices.
- Sugar - use white sugar. Both white coarse sugar or white granulated sugar will work fine.
- Lemon slices - Use fresh lemons and use a sharp knife for easy slicing. Remove all seeds in the slices before caramelizing them.
*Refer to the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and exact quantities. For best results, use a digital kitchen scale where applicable*
👩🏻🍳How to make
Mixing the lemonade
- Start by preparing your lemons. Wash and pat them dry. If you wish to rind them for use in another recipe, rind them first before cutting them for juice.
- Measure the juice in a measuring cup. Strain the juice into the measuring jug so that the juice you measure is without any seeds or pulps. Set aside.
- Add about one-third or one-quarter of the water indicated in the recipe into a large pitcher.
- Measure the brown sugar into it. Stir the brown sugar in the water until it is dissolved. This should take approximately 2 minutes.
- Pour in the strained lemon juice and mix well.
- Measure the remaining water and add it to the pitcher. Mix well. Top it with ice cubes and slices of caramelized lemons if desired.
Making the caramelized lemon slices
- Slice a lemon into thin slices, approximately ⅛ of an inch. Set them aside.
- In a wide saucepan, add water. Measure sugar into the pan and turn on the heat to low. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon slices in. Cook them in the sugar syrup over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Turn them over every 20 minutes.
- Continue to cook them until the sugar starts to caramelize (it will start to change color to amber). Once the color starts to change, keep a close watch on the lemon slices as the caramel can over caramelize quite quickly.
- As soon as the caramel reaches the color you desire, lift out the lemon slices from the pan and place them on a parchment-lined tray. Place them slightly apart from one another.
- Let the lemon slices dry in a cool place overnight. This will help the caramel to set. Keep the slice uncovered. I always keep mine in the oven and if you do, there is no need to switch on the oven or even the light. I keep them in the oven because it is the only place when I can put my large tray in without any covering and avoid ants and flies.
- To store the candied lemon slices, store them in a container with a parchment paper square in between each lemon slice to avoid them from sticking to one another. Keep the slices refrigerated.
🍽️Serving & storage
- This lemonade can last in the fridge for a good 5 to 6 days.
- Keep it stored in a covered jug or pitcher. Only add the ice cubes right before serving to avoid the ice cubes from diluting the lemonade.
- Before juicing the lemons, roll them on your kitchen countertop with your palms. Exert slight pressure as you do it. This is a useful tip for effective juicing of lemons and limes. The rolling helps to soften the skin as well as loosen the pulp inside, making it easier to press the juice out after cutting.
Regular lemonade is made with white sugar. Brown sugar lemonade, on the other hand, is made using brown sugar. That is essentially the main difference.
In addition to the type of sugar used, the amount used also differs. Since brown sugar is less sweet than white sugar, a slightly more amount of brown sugar is required to make the same amount of lemonade that it would require for a regular lemonade. For example, when making a 300ml single serving lemonade, I use 2 tablespoons of white sugar for regular lemonade. For the brown sugar lemonade, I use 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Otherwise, the level of sweetness between these two variants of lemonade will differ.
Technically you can, however, the lemonade will no longer be brown sugar lemonade since you are not using brown sugar anymore.
I have seen recipes that use agave, maple syrup, and stevia, coconut sugar and raw cane sugar but have not personally tried any of these alternatives. I also have 2 other lemonade recipes that are made using honey (honey lemonade) and regular white sugar (classic lemonade).
Yes, there is. You can make a simple syrup solution with brown sugar and use it instead.
All you need to do is add the brown sugar and about one-fourth of the water indicated in the recipe into a small saucepan and heat it up over medium heat until the sugar dissolved. Stir it to help it dissolve faster.
As soon as the brown sugar is dissolved, remove the syrup from heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Put it in the fridge or freezer to expedite the cooling process.
Once cold, pour the syrup into a pitcher, add the lemon juice and the remaining water and stir briefly to mix. Chill the drink until it is ready to be served.
Lemonade concentrates are often already sugar-added. Adding brown sugar to it will make it too sweet, hence is it not suitable for use in making brown sugar lemonade.
Yes, they can.
You can prepare the frozen lemon juice by squeezing lemon juice ahead of time and freezing it in either individual sizes (in tablespoon measures) or in larger pitcher serving sizes (for example in 150ml sizes). That way, when you want to make this lemonade, you need not spend your time squeezing fresh lemon juice.
To use the frozen lemon juice, either wait for the juice to melt before adding to the water and brown sugar solution, or simply pop the frozen cubes or blocks into your glass or pitcher. Let the juice melt completely before serving.
As for bottled, store-bought lemon juice, so long as it is not already sweetened and concentrated and no other ingredients added, it can be used for this lemonade recipe.
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Brown Sugar Lemonade (Flavorful and Refreshing)
For best results, use the metrics measurements. US customary measurements have not been tested and are only meant for guide.
- 150 ml lemon juice (juice of approximately 2 lemons, strained)
- 225 g brown sugar
- 1500 ml drinking water (chilled)
- Ice cubes (optional)
Caramelized Lemon Slices
- 100 ml water
- 100 g sugar
- 1 lemon - sliced (approximately 2mm or 3mm thickness)
Making the lemonade
- Measure 500ml water (at room temperature) in a measuring jug. Add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve completely.
- Transfer the brown sugar solution into a 2 liter pitcher. Strain the lemon juice in.
- Add the remaining chilled water and stir to mix.
- Keep the lemonade chilled until ready to serve. (Refer to notes below if you wish to add ice cubes to your lemonade)
Making the caramelized lemon slices (to be made ahead of time)
- Measure water into a wide saucepan.
- Add the sugar. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir the sugar to dissolve.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon slices into the syrup. Place them in a single layer and avoid placing them on top of each other.
- Let the lemon slices cook in the syrup over low heat. Turn the slices over every 20 minutes.
- Continue to cook the slices over low heat until the sugar syrup starts to turn amber.
- As soon as it reaches the desired color, remove the lemon slices onto a parchment lined tray. Place them apart to avoid sticking.
- Let the caramelized lemon slices dry and set overnight, uncovered.
- To store the slices, place a small parchment square in between each lemon slice to avoid the slices from sticking. Keep refridgerated until ready to use.
- This recipe makes 2 liters of homemade brown sugar lemonade made entirely with chilled water and without ice cubes.
- If you wish to add ice cubes, reduce the chilled water in the recipe accordingly. This will avoid the lemonade from becoming too diluted as the ice cubes melt.
- To make the lemonade in a single serving of 350ml glass, use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 300ml of chilled water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. If you wish to add ice cubes, reduce the water accordingly and top up with ice cubes.
- The caramelized lemon slices are best made ahead of time so that they are readily available for use in the lemonade.