This homemade Lemonade recipe is so easy to make and perfect for summer! Also includes instructions for blueberry lemonade and strawberry lemonade, plus other variations and uses.
Summer is here, which means I can finally share my famous Lemonade Recipe with you!
As soon as the temperature rises my entire family starts asking me when the lemonade will be ready — we can’t get enough of this sweet and tangy sipper!
I totally get it, too.
Is there anything that says “timeless summer” as definitively as a cold glass of lemonade?
(I should admit that, for me, a glass of my Cold Brew Coffee is a close second!)
Why make homemade lemonade?
Making homemade lemonade can seem like a lot of work, but I think a lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to make this beloved beverage at home.
Sure, the stuff in a can or in a carton will do in a pinch but is it really summer if you don’t try at least one lemonade recipe?
If it sounds intimidating, or if you’ve never made lemonade before, I’m here to deliver some fabulous news: This recipe couldn’t be easier to make.
You’re going to start with a citrusy simple syrup (and seriously, the method couldn’t be simpler if it tried) and build your lemonade from there.
I’ve also provided instructions for making strawberry lemonade and blueberry lemonade if you can’t get enough berries in your beverage.
This recipe is almost endlessly customizable! I’ve given you some of my favorite suggestions for ways you can tweak this lemonade; feel free to get creative when you’re making this recipe.
If this lemonade recipe is a hit (which I can practically guarantee it will be!), be sure to try some of my other refreshing summer sippers. My kids especially love a glass of Frozen Hot Chocolate or Berry Lime Slush after playing outside all day!
How to make Lemonade:
- Choose juicy lemons: Look for lemons that feel heavy for their size and choose medium to large-sized fruit.
- Dewax lemons before zesting (optional but will give the best results!): Remove bitter wax from lemons by placing them in a colander and pouring boiling over them. Scrub the fruit with a vegetable brush, rinse with warm water, and allow to dry in the colander or on top of a clean tea towel.
- Get as much of the juice as possible: Submerge whole lemons in hot water for 30 minutes or microwave whole lemons for 10 seconds. Roll the fruit firmly under your hand several times before cutting in half and juicing.
- Add blueberries and strawberries if desired: I’ve given you instructions for making strawberry lemonade and blueberry lemonade. The berries are added to the simple syrup, giving the lemonade a beautiful pink or purple color.
- Chill lemonade before serving: Lemonade tastes best when ice cold, so make sure you allow plenty of time for chilling.
Check out this beautiful pitcher of strawberry lemonade!
Variations on this Lemonade Recipe:
- Blend lemonade with ice for a frosty treat!
- Add your favorite fruit! Peaches, raspberries, watermelon, cherries, mango, and pineapple are all delicious lemonade additions. Experiment with a single type of fruit or a combination, and add them into the simple syrup as the other berries are added in the recipe below.
- Substitute sparkling water for regular water in the final step of the recipe.
- Pour lemonade into ice cube containers, freeze, and add to iced tea or sparkling water.
- Make lemonade popsicles! Freeze lemonade in popsicle molds for a refreshing treat the whole family will love.
- Add some color to your lemonade with my recipe for Easy Homemade Pink Lemonade. It’s lovely pink hue makes it perfect for hot summer days, birthday parties and girl’s baby showers!
Other uses for simple syrup:
- Get creative with simple syrup flavors: Have fun experimenting with your simple syrup add-ins! Try substituting the lemon peel for orange or lime peel or any other type of berry for the optional blueberries and strawberries. Feeling adventurous? Dried food-grade rose petals and lavender, fresh herbs, and sliced ginger root can also be used to flavor the syrup.
- Make honey simple syrup: Use 1 cup of honey in place of the sugar and prepare the recipe as directed.
- Add simple syrup to seltzer: A drizzle of simple syrup and a handful of frozen fruit are all you need to create a refreshing, not-too-sweet beverage.
- Dress fruit salad with simple syrup: If the fruit in your fruit salad could use a boost of sweetness, toss the fruit with a small amount of simple syrup and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.
- Moisten layer cakes: Never worry about stale cake layers again! Use a pastry brush to moisten the top of each cake with simple syrup to prevent drying.
- Sweeten homemade iced tea: Simple syrup is ideal for sweetening cold beverages (no more undissolved sugar granules stuck on the bottom of your glass!)
More cold drink recipes to try:
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- 4 cups water divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3-5 lemons*
- 1 cup ice cubes
Strawberry Lemonade Add-ins
- 2 cups fresh or frozen chopped strawberries
Blueberry Lemonade Add-ins
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the lemon zest into strips. Set lemons aside.
- Lemon simple syrup: In a medium pan over medium-high heat, bring 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and lemon zest strips to a boil (*To make strawberry or blueberry lemonade, add berries here as well).
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sugar is dissolved and liquid is syrupy, about 5-8 minutes. (If berries were added, mash gently before straining to release the juices) Strain and refrigerate syrup until needed.
- Juice lemons and add 1 cup lemon juice to a large pitcher (reserve any extra so you can adjust the flavor to your tastes).
- Add 1 cup ice cubes, remaining 3 cups water, and lemon simple syrup. Stir to combine and garnish with fresh lemon slices if desired. Refrigerate until chilled.
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