This lemonade recipe makes perfectly consistent homemade lemonade every single time. It requires only 3 ingredients - lemon juice, sugar, and water and you can have a pitcher or single serving of refreshing, made from scratch lemonade in absolutely no time at all.
Plus you get to learn how to make lemonade without simple syrup too!
❤️Why you will love this recipe
- This is an easy lemonade recipe and uses only 3 simple ingredients.
- It makes a perfect cold drink for a hot summer day.
- The delicious lemonade has a perfect balance of lemon flavor and sweet flavor.
- The recipe comes with precise measurements be it for a single serving or a larger serving for a larger crowd. You will get consistent results every single time.
- And with concise measurement, doubling or enter tripling the recipe is a breeze too. You can use this simple recipe to make large batches of lemonade (with freshly squeezed lemon juice) for a pool party or even to sell at a lemonade stand.
- You get to learn ways of making lemonade both with and without simple syrup.
- There are no artificial flavors or store bought concentrates or bottled lemon juice used.
- It is a perfect way to use up lemons when you have them in abundance.
Like this easy homemade lemon recipe? Here are my other recipes you should check out too:
- Lemon Curd Cheesecake
- Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Candied Lemon Peel
- Lemon Pound Cake
- Blueberry Cake Loaf with Lemon Glaze
- Earl Grey Pound Cake with Lemon Curd
- Moist Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake
- Lemon juice - use fresh lemons (juicy and large lemons). Strain the juice to remove seeds.
- Sugar - use white sugar. Both coarse sugar and granulated sugar will work for this recipe, but granulated sugar is preferred as it will dissolve quicker.
- Water - used in 2 parts. First part is to make the simple syrup/dissolve the sugar. Second part is to dilute the lemon juice and simple syrup/sugar concentration to make the lemonade. Use chilled water (cold water) for the second part.
- Ice cubes (optional)
*Refer to the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and exact quantities. For best results, use a digital kitchen scale where applicable*
🧾Substitution and variations
- Sugar can be replaced with brown sugar or honey. See my recipes for brown sugar lemonade and honey lemonade if you wish to substitute.
- The water (2nd part) that is used to dilute the lemon juice and syrup/sugar concentration can be replaced with soda water or sparkling water (but not the part that is used to make the simple syrup).
- Garnishing options: You can add a few thin lemon slices into the pitcher of lemonade or decorate each glass with a lemon wedge and mint leaves.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you do try, please let me know in the comments section below!
👩🏻🍳How to make
Method 1: Lemonade recipe with simple syrup
- This method requires you to prepare a simple sugar syrup solution as the sweetener for the lemonade. You then add lemon juice and the simple syrup into a glass or pitcher and stir both in more water (and ice cubes if preferred) to make your lemonade.
- The simple syrup can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.
- With the simple syrup, you need not spend time stirring the sugar in the lemonade to dissolve it, hence some people's preference for using simple syrup in their lemonade recipes.
- To begin with, measure sugar into a small saucepan.
- Add 150ml water into the saucepan and heat it up on medium heat. Stir and cook the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool down to room temperature.
- Wash and pat the lemons dry. Cut into half. Juice the fruits with a citrus or lemon juicer.
- Strain the juice (with a fine mesh strainer) to remove any seeds.
- Measure the lemon juice.
- Add it into a large pitcher.
- Add the cooled sugar syrup.
- Top up with the chilled water (or sparking water or soda water if using) into the pitcher. If you wish to serve the lemonade with ice cubes and do not wish to dilute your lemonade further, reduce the water slightly.
- Stir to mix.
- To serve, pour the lemonade into tall glasses (filled with ice cubes if preferred).
Method 2: Lemonade recipe without simple syrup (variation)
- With this method, you need not prepare the simple syrup. Instead of heating up the sugar to dissolve it, you stir it into room temperature or chilled water instead. All it takes is about one to two minutes of stirring for the sugar to dissolve. You then add the lemon juice and remaining water (chilled) and stir to make the lemonade.
- For easy stirring of the sugar, it is best to do it in a measuring jug and with about 2 cups (500ml) of water and not more. It will be easier to stir and you can see if the sugar has dissolved at the bottom clearly. Using too less water will take a longer time for the sugar to dissolve, so do take note to use sufficient water.
- This method is perfect when you want to make a single serving of lemonade. For single serving lemonade, given that the water quantity is not much, you can add all the ingredients (including all the water) into your drinking glass and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- This method is also much quicker and there is no hassle of heating up sugar and water to make simple syrup and then waiting for it to cool down afterwards.
- Sugar dissolves fairly quickly with stirring (often with a minute or two) and even quicker if you use granulated sugar.
🍽️Serving & storage
- Add ice cubes to the lemonade right before serving. This will avoid the lemonade from becoming diluted if it is not consumed immediately.
- The lemonade is best served on the day it is made. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for a good 4 to 5 days, but remember to not add ice cubes to it to prevent it from becoming diluted.
- For best results, roll your lemons on your kitchen counter by applying some pressure with your palm. That will help soften then skin and loosen the pulp inside and this in turn, will make juicing the lemons easier.
- It is also a good idea to juice the lemons in advance and store the juice frozen in the freezer. That way, you save time on cutting and juicing lemons every time you need to make lemonade. It also helps to measure the juice in advance before freezing. You can freeze it in ice cube trays to make individual serving lemonade or in Ziplock bags for larger servings. See my recipe for making frozen lemonade concentrate for the full recipe and tips.
Before you even cut and juice the lemons, prepare them first by rolling them on your counter top. Use the palm of your hand to do this, just like rolling a rolling pin. Exert pressure on the lemons as you roll them. This process helps to soften the skin and loosen the pulp inside. When you cut and squeeze them, it is much easier to press the juice out.
There are a few ways in which you can juice the lemons. Cutting and squeezing them by hand is one option but you would need to use quite a lot of enegry for this to make sure you press out all the juice effectively.
The other method is to use a a juice pressor or a hand held juicer or citrus juicer. All three will work well.
Making fresh homemade lemonade requires the use of fresh lemon juice. However, instead of squeezing a fresh batch of lemon juice every time you want to make lemonade, you can actually squeeze the lemon juice in advance and freeze it for later use.
To do this, simply cut and juice your lemons. Strain the juice and pour it into ice cube trays or small freezer-safe containers. For easier use, you can even measure the juice beforehand and freeze it in separate containers. When you need to use the juice, you will have it readily measured, so all you need to do is drop the frozen lemon juice cubes into your glass along with the sugar and water and let it dilute completely before consuming the lemonade.
When freezing the juice, it is best to keep the frozen juice in fully covered containers or zip lock bags. Fresh lemon juice can last frozen for a good 3 to 4 months.
Yes, you can. Adjust the sugar to suit your taste preference.
Simple syrup is sugar syrup made by heating up equal amount of sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. It is often used to make cold drinks like fruit juices and iced tea as well as it other desserts.
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Lemonade Recipe (With & Without Simple Syrup)
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)
- 150 g white sugar (coarse sugar)
- 150 ml drinking water (at room temperature)
- 1350 ml drinking water (chilled)
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Measure the sugar into a small saucepan.
- Add 150ml (room temperature) water. Turn on medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar to make simple syrup.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the simple syrup from heat. Leave it aside to cool completely to room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator to expedite the cooling process.
- To make the lemonade, cut and juice the lemons. Strain the juice and measure it to 150ml. Add the lemon juice into a large 2 liters pitcher.
- Add the sugar syrup into the pitcher and top up with the 1350ml chilled water. Stir to mix before serving.
- If you wish to add ice cubes and do not wish to dilute the lemonade, reduce the water accordingly.
- Keep the lemonade chilled until ready to serve. Only add the ice cubes before serving to prevent the lemonade from becoming diluted.
- This recipe makes 2 liters of homemade lemonade made with chilled water and without ice cubes.
- If you wish to add ice cubes and do not want to dilute your lemonade, reduce the chilled water in the recipe accordingly. This will avoid the lemonade from becoming too diluted as the ice cubes melt.
To make single serving lemonade:
- To make the lemonade in a single serving of 350ml glass, use 2 tablespoons of strained lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of sugar (coarse sugar) and 300ml of chilled water.
- Add all ingredients into a tall glass and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- If you wish to add ice cubes, reduce the water accordingly and top up with ice cubes.
- The sugar used in this recipe is regular white sugar. If you use granulated sugar instead, the weight of the sugar (in grams) will be slightly lesser. However, the difference in taste will be negligible.
Variation: Making the lemonade without simple syrup
- Measure 500ml water (at room temperature) in a measuring jug.
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Transfer the sugar solution into a 2 liter pitcher.
- Juice, strain and measure the lemon juice. Add it into the pitcher.
- Top with 1.5 liters of chilled water and stir to mix. Serve.