Homemade Lemonade

This easy and fresh homemade lemonade is a snap to make for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day!

fresh lemonade in mason jars with slices of lemons
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Nothing beats the heat like a cool glass of fresh homemade lemonade. Instead of having to buy it in those big, unwieldy bottles, why not learn how to make an even better lemonade from scratch?

Pair your fresh lemonade with Swedish Creme with Summer Berries for the ultimate summer afternoon treat! Or you could make a Fresh Fruit Platter with Dips to impress a larger group!

fresh lemonade in mason jars with slices of lemons

Fresh Lemonade

There’s just nothing quite like a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day. However, there is a lot more to it than just squeezing some lemons in water and calling it a day; making lemonade is easy, but making great lemonade takes a little bit of finesse.

You not only need to get the balance of sweetness, tartness, and citrusy flavor just right, but everything needs to be ready to serve and enjoy before it starts to warm up in the hot sun – after all, nobody likes warm lemon.

So to help smooth the process of preparing lemonade for a big crowd at your next barbeque, here is everything you need to know to make a great-tasting fresh lemonade.            

fresh lemonade ingredients, lemons sugar and water in separate bowls

What Temperature Should Your Sugar Water Mixture Reach?

When making fresh lemonade, one of the most important things to consider is the temperature of the sugar-water mixture.

To ensure that everything melts together properly, the sugar water mixture should come to a boil, and then continue to heat it for about one minute reaching about 220 Fahrenheit.

While you could just stop when it reaches a rolling boil, giving it that extra minute helps ensure the sugar syrup stays consistent and smooth, without any graininess or bits of unmelted sugar.

After boiling, bring the sugar water mixture back down to room temperature, either by leaving it for about an hour on the counter, or running the pot under running water, ensuring none of the water from the faucet gets into the sugar syrup.

fresh lemonade lemons on cutting board sliced

Should You Use Bottled Water Or Tap Water?

Another key factor to consider when making fresh homemade lemonade is the type of water you use.

A lot of people tend not to really drink their own tap water, and instead just buy bottled water from the store.

Whatever your preference, both will work fine to make some tasty lemonade. However, it’s important to note that tap water can sometimes contain chlorine or other chemicals that may affect the taste of the lemonade.

You might also have especially hard water, meaning that it holds a larger amount of calcium carbonate, making it unpleasantly gritty.

If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, you can always use a water filter, or just purchase bottled water to ensure the best possible taste.

fresh lemonade in a [mason jar with a straw and slice of lemon

How Long Will Your Homemade Lemonade Last In The Fridge?

Fresh homemade lemonade is always going to be best served immediately after making it, but it can be stored in the fridge for up to one week if you wanted to.

If you are considering preparing it in advance and storing it in the fridge for later, probably the best thing you can do is to instead just make the sugar syrup, and then store it in the fridge. Then, the only thing you need to do to prepare your lemonade is to get the lemons and the water ready.

If the issue is that you have lemonade left over, however, it’s important to note that the longer the lemonade sits in the fridge, the less fresh and intense it will taste. The best way to store lemonade is in a tightly sealed pitcher or jar to prevent it from absorbing any odors or flavors from other foods in the fridge.

Just make sure that you remove any additional ice left in the pitcher before storing it in the fridge, as otherwise all of that extra ice will melt, resulting in a really watered-down taste.

clear jug of fresh lemonade

How To Serve Your Homemade Lemonade

Now that you’ve got yourself the perfect glass of fresh homemade lemonade, it’s time to talk about how to serve it.

Here are a few simple suggestions for how to serve your lemonade so that it is not only tasty but interesting as well.

  • Over Ice

The most obvious and simple to serve lemonade is over ice.

Not only does this make the drink more refreshing, but it also helps to dilute the sweetness of the lemonade, making it more palatable. Plus, it keeps everything nice and cool, perfect for helping fight back against the heat of summertime.

  • A Sprig Of Mint Or Rosemary

Another great way to serve lemonade is with a sprig of fresh mint or rosemary. These herbs add a subtle, yet refreshing flavor to the lemonade and make it feel like a more elevated drink.

Plus, you can play around with whatever kind of herb you feel like, so long as it doesn’t overwhelm the natural citrusy and sweet flavors of the lemonade itself.

  • Fresh Lemon Wedge

For a classic touch, serve lemonade with a fresh lemon wedge on the side of the glass. This adds a bright burst of flavor to each sip and makes the drink look even more appealing.

You can even cut little lemon discs out of the lemons and, by notching the edges of them with a knife, slide them onto the lip of the glass, making each glass of lemonade truly Instagram-worthy!

  • Coat The Rim Of The Glass In Sugar

Finally, for an extra special touch, try coating the rim of each glass in sugar. To do this, simply rub a bit of your spent lemons over the lips of each of your glasses.

Then, pour some sugar onto a small plate and dip the rim of the glass into the sugar, like you’re making a margarita, but with sugar instead of salt.

 This not only looks beautiful, but it also adds a subtle sweetness to each sip of the lemonade, as well as making each sip different from the last with its varying levels of sweetness, as well as that little bit of crunch when you get a big bit of sugar.

Just make sure not to make your lemonade too sweet if you’re planning this!

Looking for more delicious Drinks, Punches, and Mocktail recipes? Try these out:

Lemon Water

The BEST Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

How to Make Southern Style Sweet Tea

Happy Cooking!



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This easy and fresh homemade lemonade is a snap to make for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day!

Homemade Lemonade

This easy and fresh homemade lemonade is a snap to make for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day!
5 from 2 votes
fresh lemonade in mason jars with slices of lemons
Prep Time
10 minutes
8 cups
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 9 medium lemons (or more as needed)
  • 8 cups ice-cold water
  • ice as needed


  • In a small saucepan add the sugar and 1 cup of water. Stir to dissolve the sugar while the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Slice the lemons in half and use a manual hand juicer to remove all the liquid from each lemon. Pour the liquid into a measuring cup and pick out any seeds. Continue juicing until you have about 1 ½ cups fresh juice. You can strain the juice if you prefer no pulp.
  • Add 8 cups of ice-cold water into a pitcher. Add in the fresh lemon juice and add the simple syrup. Stir to combine.
  • You can add more water to taste if you find this too sweet.
  • Add ice a fresh ½ slice of lemon to the glass and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Nine medium lemons should equal about one and a half cups of juice depending on the size and quality of the lemons you use.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.5g, Saturated Fat: 0.05g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 16mg, Potassium: 168mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 27IU, Vitamin C: 64mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Linda Edwards says

    Can you substitute the sugar for zero calories sugar

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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