Fresh squeezed lemonade is the ultimate summer refresher. If you are looking for the best lemonade recipe, this is it. It has only 3 simple ingredients you probably have on hand.
One of my fond memories of childhood was making lemonade with my grandmother. She had a Ponderosa lemon tree in her yard that produced huge lemons all year. We would pick a basket full of lemons and make lemonade. The leftover lemon juice she froze in ice cube trays.
An ice-cold glass of fresh homemade lemonade is like liquid sunshine any time of year. After drinking homemade fresh lemonade, you will never be satisfied with the store-bought stuff again.
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How to Make Lemonade
The best way to make lemonade is with freshly squeezed lemon juice and homemade simple syrup.
- 6 – 8 fresh lemons
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar (granulated sugar)
- 3 cups cold water
- Medium saucepan
- Measuring cups
- Large square ice cube trays with lids
- Bamboo spoon
- Glass pitcher
- French chef’s knife (this is the one I use)
- Bamboo cutting board
- Handheld juicer (this is the one I use)
- Mesh sieve
- Tall glasses
- Paper straws
- Serving tray
To make any recipe I am a little old-school in that I like to print out the recipe first.
I found that making simple syrup is the best method since granulated sugar will not dissolve in the pitcher.
The first step is to make the simple syrup (it is really simple).
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the granulated sugar and 1 1/2 cups of water.
Stir as the sugar dissolves into the water. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes).
To prepare my whole lemons, I like to press down while I roll them across the counter lightly. This process helps to lease the juice.
I use my favorite knife and slice the lemons in half.
While holding one-half of the cut lemon, I use a hand-held juicer to extract the juice.
Mixing it Together
Using a pretty serving pitcher, I combine the cooled simple syrup, 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (strained), cold water, and large cubes of ice stir. Garnish with slices of lemon and fresh sprigs of mint.
To serve lemonade add ice and lemon slices to glasses then fill with lemonade. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint. Add a paper straw and enjoy.
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ cups lemon juice (I used 6 lemons)
- 3 cups cold water
- To make the simple syrup: place a saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour sugar and 1 ½ water into the pan.
- Heat until the sugar is melted, stirring often.
- Remove the pan from the burner and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
- While the simple syrup is cooling, juice the lemons into a mesh sieve.
- Pour lemon juice and simple syrup into a pitcher. Add enough additional cold water (I use 3 cups) to taste. Add large ice cubes and stir.
- Add ice and slices of lemons to your glasses.
- Fill the glasses with lemonade and garnish with fresh mint.
- Add a paper straw and enjoy.
How Much Sugar is in Lemonade
The perfect balance of sweet to sour is achieved with testing as you add the ingredients into the pitcher. Lemons are of different sizes and vary in sweetness so to be sure you have the right amount of lemon flavor I measure the juice. Then I add the simple syrup, lemon juice, and 2 to 3 cups of cold water into the pitcher. Stir and taste. You can adjust the intensity of your lemonade by adding more cold water.
If you would like to make your lemonade sugar-free I recommend using a natural sweetener such as this one.
During the summer months when we lived in Italy you could find street vendors with lemonade stands serving fresh-squeezed lemonade. They made each glass of lemonade to order. They used this tool to squeeze the lemons so I ran directly to a shop to purchase one. However, the simple hand-held is my go-to juicer.
Another fun lemonade recipe I thought was the bee’s knees was the Baltimore Lemon Stick. It is one of those special treats that we had at outdoor events during the summer.
It is super simple yet so much fun, and everyone enjoys them. These soft peppermint sticks and lemon is all that is needed to serve these fun treats. They look so festive for all your summer BBQs and parties, so be sure to stock up on plenty of soft peppermint sticks. You can see the complete tutorial here.
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration for easy meals and recipes. I put together some recipes. I think you will like it.
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