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Refreshing homemade Fresh Lemonade recipe made with fresh lemons! It’s a classic delicious drink perfect for any occasion! Includes how to make lemonade concentrate!
For more delicious and refreshing drinks, I think you’ll love my Southern Sweet Tea, Limeade, and Strawberry Lemonade.
Homemade lemonade is one of the most refreshing and easiest drinks to make and this recipe gives you that perfect sweet, yet tart drink we all love! It is perfect for serving throughout the year but especially refreshing during warmer months. We love it with everything from BBQ to hamburgers and grilled chicken. A definite favorite!
There are just a few simple tricks to make sure that your lemonade is absolutely perfect every time!
Fresh Lemonade Recipe
How to Make the Best Fresh Homemade Lemonade
This homemade lemonade recipe is so simple to make and have on hand. It only takes a few minutes to have a gallon of it made and ready for serving.
It is perfect for serving anytime but especially delicious for picnics, parties, and get-togethers. And thankfully, it couldn’t get much easier, and you know exactly what is in it! No powdery mixes are used! ♡
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- hot water
- fresh lemon juice
- cold water
- lemon zest
- lemon slices
Add sugar. Start by adding your sugar to a large, gallon-size pitcher. If you do not have a gallon-size pitcher, you can easily cut this recipe in half or even double it for larger quantities.
Pour in the hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar. This basically creates a simple syrup and prevents your lemonade from being grainy or with sugar that sinks to the bottom of the pitcher.
Stir in your fresh lemon juice and cold water. I also like to add fresh lemon zest to my lemonade recipe; it increases the lemon flavor even more!
Now you are ready to serve it! I love to serve it with lemon slices and over ice.
How Long Does Lemonade Keep in the Refrigerator?
For best results, keep your lemonade refrigerated between servings. Not only does this make it more refreshing on a hot day, but it also keeps it fresher for longer.
I’ve found that my lemonade stays fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. If making in advance for a party, consider using my concentrate recipe or simply wait to add the fresh lemon slices to the pitcher until right before serving.
Can I Make Sugar-Free Lemonade?
Yes! I love to make this recipe sugar-free! Use your favorite sugar-free replacement that you would use in drinks such as tea or coffee.
How to Make Lemonade Concentrate
Similar to my sweet tea concentrate, I love to make this as a concentrate as well! The concentrate requires less room in my refrigerator, is easier to transport when traveling, and is great to make ahead and keep on hand!
To make lemonade concentrate, simply proceed through the recipe without adding the cold water and lemon slices.
Mix sugar and water. Add your sugar to a large pitcher and pour the hot water over the sugar and stir to combine.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir well.
Pour into an airtight bottle.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How to Serve from Lemonade Concentrate
To serve, simply add equal parts lemonade concentrate and cold water to a glass (for single servings) or a pitcher (for larger service).
Other Favorite Drinks
Here’s my Lemonade Recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
Fresh Lemonade Recipe
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- cold water
- 1 lemon sliced
- Add sugar to a gallon pitcher and pour hot water over sugar, stirring to dissolve. Add fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and enough cold water to fill the pitcher. Stir until well-combined. Serve with ice and fresh lemon slices, if desired.
- Keep refrigerated
- Add sugar to a pitcher and pour hot water over sugar, stirring to dissolve. Add fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until well-combined. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator up to a week.
- To serve, pour equal amounts of lemonade concentrate and water into a glass (single serving) or into a pitcher (for larger service). Serve with ice and fresh lemon slices, if desired.
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I have read so many different recipes online and I’m such a decisive person to choose which one will be perfect. I am wanting to make this for my daughters baby shower. I just want to make sure that when you add a whole gallon of water to the sugar syrup and lemon juice that it is not watered down? I thought of freezing the concentrate and then defrosting and adding the gallon of water the day of the shower. What’s your thoughts? Thank you!
Crystal, this lemonade has never tasted watered down to me. I use 8-10 lemons to make the 2 cups lemon juice. You can add more if you want a stronger lemon taste. This lemonade will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 5 days. I haven’t tried freezing it so I can’t tell you how it will turn out but I would think it would be fine.
Hello Robyn, I am making this lemon Juice next week. I am going to make 3gallons of lon juice. The recipe is only for 1 gallon. How much do I need to add.
Cathy, if you are making 3 gallons of this lemonade, you would just use 3 times the ingredients in this recipe.
The lemonade with lemon slices were perfect. Made lemonade 100 times without a recipe. Sometimes too sugary or not enough lemon or sugar. This recipe is perfect…
Thanks, Butch. I’m so glad this recipe helped you.
This Lemonade pleased each & every person I poured a glass for. Very easily made & easily enjoyed by all LRD
Thanks so much, Lori.
Robyn I’m wanting to try this Strawberry Lemonade recipe but I hope this doesn’t sound stupid but I don’t know what you’re meaning by 2 cups fresh lemon juice?? are you meaning just plain lemonade?? Thanks for your reply… love all your recipes.
TJ, you would use juice you would squeeze out of fresh lemons or bottled lemon juice. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks so much for this recipe! We used the juice from the lemons we had left in the house and supplemented it with bottled juice. Hubby liked it so much that we made it again a few days later.
Christine, thank you for telling me how much you and your husband loved this lemonade.
Sorry, forgot to leave the rating with my last comment. 🙂
i am going to try this 1 gallon of freshly squeezed lemonade
I hope you enjoy the lemonade, Glen.