Homemade Lemonade Recipe (2024)

By Sam 170 Comments

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You only need three ingredients to make this classic homemade Lemonade Recipe. It’s so simple and refreshing–perfect for a summer day! Recipe includes a how-to video.

Homemade Lemonade Recipe (1)

The Easiest, Most Refreshing Lemonade Recipe

I know some of you are going to see this and think, “Do we really need a lemonade recipe?”. Sure lemonade is one of those things that can be thrown together and still taste great (like mac and cheese or French toast); however, having a reliable recipe is still important.

Lemonadeis easy to make, but getting the ratios right is critical. Too much lemon and it’s too tart and undrinkable, and too much water and it’s, well, watered down. What I’m sharing today is a perfectly balanced lemonade recipe that everyone is going to love.

Why You’ll Love My Lemonade Recipe:

  • Super smooth and evenly sweetened, thanks to simple syrup.
  • Can easily be doubled or tripled–perfect for lemonade stands!
  • Not too tart and not too sweet; the balance of lemon and sugar is just right.
  • Pairs well with iced tea to make an Arnold Palmer.

What You Need

Homemade Lemonade Recipe (2)

You only need three simple ingredients to make this lemonade recipe (or two, if you don’t count water!):

  • Lemons. It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that I recommend using freshly squeezed lemons for this recipe (as I do with my lemon cheesecake). You’ll only need 3-4 nice sized lemons to get one cup of juice.
  • Sugar. Plain granulated sugar works just fine, you could also substitute caster sugar!
  • Water. I use tap water because mine doesn’t have a flavor, but if yours has a chlorinated taste use bottled or filtered water.

SAM’S TIP: This isn’t totally necessary, but I like to garnish my homemade lemonade with additional sliced lemons for a bright and sunny look.

Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

How to Make Lemonade

Homemade Lemonade Recipe (3)
  1. Combine 1 cup each of sugar and water and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Set the syrup aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the cooled syrup and freshly-squeezed lemon juice in a pitcher.
  4. Add the remaining water and stir, then pour over ice and enjoy!

SAM’S TIP: I like to use this tool to juice my lemons; it makes the job so much easier!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use honey to make lemonade?

You could, but keep in mind the honey will impart a different flavor. I’d start with about ½ cup of honey and taste test before adding any more.

Can I make lemonade using bottled lemon juice?

Yes, you can make this lemonade recipe using bottled lemon juice. My brother does this all the time, and the lemonade is still excellent.

What can I add to homemade lemonade?

Fresh mint, rosemary, and lavender are all delicious pairings with homemade lemonade! Or, you could always make my easy strawberry lemonade.

Homemade Lemonade Recipe (4)

You can find me sipping a glass of this on my front porch all summer long 😎

More Summer Recipes:

  • Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
  • Lemon Curd
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Lemon Blueberry Cake


Let’s bake together!I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe andvideobelow! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me onInstagram, and you can also find me onYouTubeandFacebook

Homemade Lemonade Recipe (5)

Homemade Lemonade Recipe

A simple and refreshinghomemade lemonade recipe! You only need sugar, water, and lemons to make this classic drink recipe. Check out the step-by-step video just below the recipe!

This recipe makes ½ gallon of lemonade but can successfully be doubled!

4.97 from 156 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Drinks

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 8-oz glasses

Calories: 103kcal

Author: Sam Merritt


  • 6 cups (1.4 L) water divided
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (236 ml) fresh-squeezed lemon juice¹ seeds removed, pulp may remain

Recommended Equipment


  • Combine 1 cup (236ml) water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside, allow to cool for 10 minutes.

    6 cups (1.4 L) water, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

  • Pour 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice into a pitcher. Add sugar/water mixture (simple syrup).

    1 cup (236 ml) fresh-squeezed lemon juice¹

  • Add remaining 5 cups (1180ml) water and stir well. Pour over ice and serve, or transfer to refrigerator and allow to chill several hours before serving.


¹Lemon Juice

I really recommend fresh squeezed, but my brother often makes this recipe using bottled lemon juice with success.


Serving: 18 oz glass | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 32mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin C: 16.5mg | Calcium: 60mg

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.

Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @SugarSpun_Sam or tag #sugarspunrun!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Bronte

    My mother-in-law gave us a bag of lemons yesterday and so my daughters and I made this today as a treat. Early February in the Pacific Northwest and it brought a bit of sunshine to our day. Thank you! Perfect recipe as always.


  2. Terry

    Great idea, but you’re giving us a lemonade recipe that you say you’ll be sipping on your porch all summer long?
    Hate to break it to you – but it’s winter. Currently 2°F with a “Real Feel” of – 5°F where I live. Our nighttime temps are dropping to MINUS 39 & 43°F on Thursday & Friday (2 & 3 days from now).
    And about those lemons at $1 each, which is pretty standard, year round…
    ‘Fraid this one’s gonna have to wait about 5 months – if we’re lucky.


    • Sam

      That is really cold! I’m glad it doesn’t get that cold here. I did originally publish it in June, which is great lemonade time. I hope you love it when you do try it. 🙂


      • Robin

        Great answer and Great tasting lemonade..!!

  3. Alyson Morgan

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (10)
    This is very good as I like it not overly sweet. Perfect!


    • Sam

      I’m so happy to hear this, Jionni! Thank you so much for trying my recipe!


    • Louise James

      Homemade Lemonade Recipe (12)
      It’s December in Russell, Ontario Canada. I recently bought a bunch of lemons that were reduced for a quick sale. I knew I was going to make lemonade and I came upon your recipe. It didn’t disappoint! I did revive the amount of water by one cup because I wanted it more tart. Absolutely amazing!


  4. Nicole

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (13)
    Very good recipe. I swapped out 1 cup of regular water for strawberry water to make strawberry lemonade. Next time I will use fresh pineapple.


  5. Maddie Cunningham

    This is the best lemonade I’ve ever had! I’m 13 years old and LOVE lemonade. Favorite drink of all time! When I saw all the lemons in the fridge I figured I’d try to make some for the first time. When I saw this recipe I decided to give it a whirl, and I’m so happy I did. Thanks for this!! I’ll be using it in the future for sure.
    (PS: Me and my brother drained the whole picture in one night. Oops)


    • Sam

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it so much, Maddie! 🙂


  6. Liz

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (14)
    Just made this as we are getting ready for another HOT spell here in the Midwest and it is delicious. My lemons must have been huge as it only took 3 of them and then it was a little over 1 cup. I like to think I’m a lemonade connoisseur as I’ve made other recipes and bought bottled real lemonade but this tops them all. Thanks for the super easy recipe!!


  7. Sylvia Toste Rodgers

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (15)
    easy, but not quick, but I love homemade lemonade so I thought I would try this one out.


  8. Pam S

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (16)
    Perfect! As everyone else has said. My husband loves lemonade and vodka and sometimes uses those gross powder packets. No more. This is truly perfect with only 4 large lemons and water. Simple syrup is the secret! Thank You!


    • Judith A Neary

      Do you know how many servings one recipe makes?


      • Sam

        8-8oz glasses. For future reference, I put serving information in the purple box right above the ingredients. 🙂

  9. Kori

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (17)
    Simply perfect!


    • Sam

      Thank you for trying my recipe, Kori! 🙂


  10. B2D2

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (18)
    Perfect! The ratios are great. Neither too tart nor too sweet. Try it blended with ice (3 cups & 3 cups water) for a slushy too


    • Emily @ Sugar Spun Run

      We love the slushy idea! So glad you enjoyed it 😊


  11. Rachel

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (19)
    Fabulous! It is perfectly balanced! A gallon lasted 2 days. We drank just the lemonade and had some with muddled blueberries and some with muddled strawberries. Your recipe is amazing alone and adding strawberries was amazing also.


  12. Edith

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (20)
    Excellent. Very easy to make. Just the right amount of sweeet and tart! Thank you for an easy, quick, simple recipe! It’s great to be able to very quickly whip up a refreshing beverage when guests unexpectedly drop by. Who doesn’t like lemonnade!!


    • Emily @ Sugar Spun Run

      We are so happy you like it, Edith! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a review 💛


      • Carol Purdy

        About how many lemons

      • Sam

        Hi Carol! I used 4 pretty good sized lemons. 🙂

  13. Jennifer Welch

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (21)
    DELICIOUS! I didn’t think the 4 lemons I had on hand would get me a cup but after I squeezed them with a press I used some tongs and got every last drop out. It was just under a cup. Simply perfect!


    • Cassie

      Homemade Lemonade Recipe (22)
      I doubled this recipe to make in my 1 gallon pitcher. I had 8 lemons that I had used for the zest to make lemoncello, so I figured I better make some lemonade too! The 8 large lemons I had weren’t enough, so I had to top off the remaining 1/3 cup that I was short with some bottled lemon juice that I had in the fridge. Turned out great! A little on the more tart side but delicious! My daughter prefers more sweet, so she added a little extra sugar to her glass.


  14. bella

    Homemade Lemonade Recipe (23)
    so good!


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