Easy Homemade Lemonade Recipe

This homemade, refreshing, and tangy Easy Lemonade Recipe will keep you cool all summer long. It’s a classic delicious drink made with fresh lemons and guaranteed to quench your thirst during the hot summer months.

picture of fresh lemonade with text overlay

Living in the South means it’s hot during the summer. We are talking 95-100 degrees most days, so this simple lemonade recipe is right on time. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart, using lemons, sugar, and water. This recipe makes a gallon of delicious tart and tangy lemon juice, so you will have plenty to share. 

Classic Lemonade never goes out of style and is always welcomed at home, at picnics, gatherings, or the hayfield. You won’t believe how easy it is to make, and once you try it, you will be hooked forever. If you are a strawberry fan, you have to try my Strawberry Lemonade. So good!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Homemade lemonade is an enjoyment of refreshment and simplicity. You’ll fall in love with this timeless classic that is a straightforward and easy recipe to enjoy year-round. 

Simple: This recipe is simple, with just three basic ingredients. It’s straightforward and allows for the natural ingredients to shine through, creating the perfect lemonade recipe. A great drink to beat the summer heat.

Homemade Goodness: There’s something special about making your own homemade lemonade on a hot summer day that’s full of sweet flavor. Plus, you know what is in your lemonade.

Versatile: Not only is this classic lemonade recipe great on its own, but it can be used as a base for cocktails, or make delicious and refreshing popsicles.

Pure Refreshing: This drink has the right amounts of lemon juice to water and is the perfect drink, whether serving it on a hot day to quench your thirst or serving a glass at a backyard barbecue. This homemade drink will hit the spot every time.

Homemade Lemonade Ingredients

ingredients for homemade lemonade recipe with text overlay

These ingredients are simple and straightforward and can be found at your local grocery store year-round. Gather the ingredients, and you’ll be on your way with this simple recipe to create the best lemonade your family has ever tasted. For a complete list of amounts, please see the recipe card below. This recipe makes a gallon, so it’s perfect for a large group on a hot day. Serve in a glass with lots of ice.

  • Sugar – Sugar adds sweetness to counteract the tartness of the fresh lemon juice. Sugar blends with the water to create a simple syrup mixture.
  • Water – Hot water is used to make the simple syrup. This is the best way to blend the sugar with the water to get it to dissolve completely.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – Fresh large lemons are the star of the show for this fresh squeezed lemonade recipe. Fresh juice gives this drink the best lemon flavor.
  • Sliced Lemons (optional) – Add a fresh lemon slice to every glass for a nice presentation. I usually buy extra juicy lemons for additional lemon slices.

How to Make the Best Fresh Homemade Lemonade

Following these simple steps ensures you’ll have a perfectly balanced pitcher of the best homemade lemonade that’s refreshingly delicious and perfect for any occasion.

  1. Prepare the Simple Syrup: Make the simple syrup by simmering 2 cups of water and 2 1/2 cups of sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture and stir until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. 
  2. Fresh Lemon Juice: Juice the lemons. It usually takes about 8-10 medium-sized to large lemons to equal 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice. Remove any seeds or pulp if desired.
  3. Mix the Lemonade: In a gallon-sized pitcher, make the lemonade. Add simple syrup, lemon juice, and cold water to fill the pitcher. Adjust the cups of cold water to achieve the level of sweetness to tartness as desired. Stir until mixed well. 
  4. Serve and Garnish:  Pour the freshly made lemonade into glasses with lots of ice. If desired, garnish each glass with fresh lemon slices.

Tips for Making the Best Squeezed Lemonade

By following these tips, you’ll enjoy a batch of refreshing, delicious, and perfectly balanced lemonade. With each sip, you’ll enjoy the simple pleasures of summertime.

  • Choose ripe lemons. Ripe lemons tend to have the most juice.
  • For best results, make a simple syrup first by bringing sugar and water to a simmer. This dissolves the sugar and keeps it from sinking to the bottom of the pitcher when mixed with other ingredients.
  • Use Fresh Lemons. Fresh lemons are always best, but bottled lemon juice will work in a pinch. I use Meyer Lemons when available, but any ripe lemon will work.
  • Taste as you go. Adjust the sweetness and tartness as you go until you get the desired combination.
  • Refrigerate before serving. Place the fresh lemonade in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cold Lemonade is always better.

Recipe Variations

Get creative with the variations to create a lemonade that suits your taste preferences. Experiment with different flavors and create your own signature drink.

  • Add berries such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. 
  • Top your lemonade off with some sparkling water.
  • Add a splash of pineapple juice to your lemonade.

How to Store Fresh Lemonade

Store lemonade in the refrigerator. Add ice to each glass before serving. To make it fancy, cut some lemon wedges to add to the top of each glass. Storing lemonade is essential to maintain its freshness and flavor.

How Long Will Fresh Lemonade Last in the Refrigerator?

This depends on how thirsty your bunch might be and how fast they drink it. But, typically, it will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Mine hardly ever does, especially during the hot summer months. 

homemade lemonade picture with text overlay

Some Summer Salads to Serve with Fresh Homemade Lemonade

Southern Creamy Potato Salad— A southern classic –Southern Creamy Potato Salad made with simple ingredients and ready in no time. It is full of creamy potatoes, mayonnaise, boiled eggs, sweet pickles, and a little kick of heat.

Easy Corn Salad with Jalapenos–Mexican Corn Salad with Jalapenos is the perfect side dish for any night of the week, holiday, or summertime cookout. This recipe comes together super fast and will be chilling in your refrigerator in no time.

Caprese Stacks— Fresh ingredients go into this dish–thick slices of tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves are drizzled with olive oil, lightly dusted with salt and pepper, and finally topped with a balsamic glaze. So simple yet so incredibly perfect for serving your family, friends, or dinner party guest.

Mixed Bean Salad–Mixed Bean Salad–kidney beans, black beans, onion, tomatoes, vinegar, and oil. A simple, delightful, and very satisfying salad that is bursting with flavor. This salad only has 6 ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to throw together. It’s healthy and delicious!

Classic Chicken Salad— Of all of the chicken salads I have ever eaten, this Classic Chicken Salad is still my favorite. It’s simple yet delicious and is perfect for potlucks, barbecues, or just because you like chicken salad.

Bacon and Broccoli Salad-– It is so easy to throw together, and in just minutes you will have a delicious side for a pot luck, holiday, dinner, or a cookout. You can’t go wrong with this dish. It may become a family favorite for you as well.

Recipe FAQs

If you are in a pinch, bottled lemon juice will work. Fresh is better, so much better, but when you need lemonade- you need lemonade.

If you like extra tart lemonade, just use more lemon juice. Squeeze a few more lemons and taste until you get the desired tartness.

lemonade picture

Easy Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Gina Abernathy
A homemade, refreshingly, and tangy Easy Lemonade Recipe to keep you cool all summer long. A classic delicious drink made with fresh lemons and guaranteed to quench your thirst during the hot summer months.
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups water plus more to fill the pitcher about 10 cups
  • 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice 8-10 medium lemons
  • 1 lemon sliced-optional


  • Make the simple syrup: Simmer 2 cups of water and 2 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature. 
  • Juice lemons: It usually takes about 8-10 medium-size lemons to equal 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice.
  • Make the Lemonade: To a gallon pitcher, add simple syrup, lemon juice, and cold water to fill the pitcher. Stir until mixed well. Serve with ice and fresh lemon slices.
Keyword Fresh Lemonade, Homemade Lemonade Recipe


  1. 5 stars
    Making a simple syrup is so smart! Now I now what I will be making all summer with the lemons from our tree!

  2. 5 stars
    This lemonade was so darn delicious! What a wonderful way to celebrate the hot weather we’ve been having!

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