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Making Homemade Lemonade

Updated on March 17, 2016
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If life gives you lemons, don't just make lemonade, make LEMONADE!

This page is about how to easily make your own delicious, homemade lemonade. By making this light and refreshing drink yourself, you get to avoid synthetic ingredients, high sugar levels and what is sometimes a tragic and complete lack of any actual lemon juice . Lemonade in its most basic form shouldn't have anything in it but lemon juice, a touch of sweetener and pure water.

Lemonade is a favorite with kids that many adults still like but seem to forget about, so why not give it another taste? It's full of vitamin C and pairs up well with a wide range of foods. Swap it in instead of orange juice at breakfast, and let it substitute for the soda at lunch. When lemons are in season, how can you not make lemonade?

Lemons
Lemons | Source

Do You Like Lemonade?

What I talk about here is the US version of lemonade, often recalled via the nostalgia of the childhood "lemonade stand."

I wasn't that big on lemonade as a kid. As an adult, I found out I did like it, but only when I can control how sweet or tart it tastes. I think a lot of other people feel the same way about lemonade as I do, as it can be very hard to get the taste you're searching for, even with something that seems as simple as lemonade.

I've learned that lemonade isn't the same in the rest of the world as it is in the United States. In Europe, it tends to be a carbonated drink, almost what Americans would call a lemon soda. You also find lemonade mixed with beer in Europe. Sometimes lemonade contains real lemon juice, and sadly, sometimes it really contains zero percent fruit juice. That's nasty so if you ever buy any pre-made lemonade, always read the labels!

Next, I have to learn to always remember to ask if the lemonade is made in-house when I go to a restaurant . I had two totally different experiences recently where I didn't remember to ask when I ordered. In one case, I was brought a perfect glass of homemade lemonade. Each sip started out with a tart splash on the tongue that then shifted to sweet as you swallowed and I could see real pulp on the rim of the glass. In the other instance, I was brought a can of commercial, pre-made bleech.... That'll learn me!

Lemonade Trick #1

Soak your lemons in hot water before you squeeze them!

The pulp is more engorged in a warm lemon than a cold one and this lets you squeeze more juice out of them. Ten minutes in a bowl of hot tap water works great.

Juice Your Own Lemons - fresh lemon jucie makes the BEST lemonade!

For my own lemonade, I buy organic lemons and then juice them myself. I find the end product is much more flavorful then using a ready-made lemon juice, although that works too if you can't purchase whole lemons. I hope someday to have a tree or two and grow my own.

Lemonade Trick #2

Softening your lemons helps get more juice out of them!

"Tenderizing" your lemons is another way to yield more juice, so roll each lemon back and forth firmly on the kitchen countertop with your hand before squeezing/juicing them.

Flavor Variations - Pink Lemonade Recipes and Beyond - adding other fruits and flavors to your lemonade

Blending in other fruit juices and small amounts of flavored syrups are great ways to vary the taste of lemonade.

"Pink" lemonade can be made lots of ways, including adding a few drops of food coloring, blending the lemonade with cranberry or adding a dash of grenadine (a red syrup).

"Hard" lemonade refers to lemonade-related beverages that contain alcohol and which are appropriate for the 21+ crowd.

Juicing Tools - Squeeze easier

Depending on how much lemonade you are trying to make, there are a variety of tools that will help you get the juice out of your lemons. I happen to use a hand-held reamer as I'm a single person making small pitchers of lemonade, but if you've got a large family or want to make it regularly for larger groups, you might want to go with something a little more industrial.

See Lemonade In The Making - videos

Share your love of lemonade or tell us about a great recipe or flavor variation that you make!

Lemonade Lovers Chat

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    • profile image

      pinaysweet 3 years ago

      I only have a chance to drink lemonade juices whenever I do dining out but after reading this, I guess, I should start making myself one now :)

    • topclimb lm profile image

      topclimb lm 3 years ago

      This is a great lens. I love fresh made and you give so many great options for recipes. Thank you...

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I've really never tried to make it from stratch, I think now that I should give it a try!! Thanks :)

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I Love lemonade and haven't had one in ages. Perhaps it's time to make one.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 3 years ago

      I begin each morning with the juice of a fresh lemon in water. Yum! :)

    • schwarz profile image
      Author

      Rae Schwarz 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @Elaine Chen: The good part about making your own is you can get it just right.

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 4 years ago

      I like lemonade with less sweet; I used to drink the hot one plus honey when I am cough.

    • akusphinx profile image

      akusphinx 4 years ago

      nice.. slurp!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      I love lemonade, but I have never made it from scratch. I think I just may have to try it. Great, informative lens. Thanks.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      I was very happy to get your tips on soaking lemons in warm water & rolling them before squeezing to get more juice! I enjoyed visiting your informative & delightful lens!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I love lemonade although I rarely make it for myself. Don't know why. Got to change that. And the hot lemonade recipes sound perfect for this northern climate girl. So glad I stopped by.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I used to love to make lemonade as a kid. We did it in a cooler with sugarcane. I like how you included tips on asking in the restaurant. I would not have thought of that.

    • PinkstonePictures profile image

      PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      Fresh lemonade is the best.

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      I like the idea of putting herbs in lemonade. I think she put way too much sweetener in, in the video. I can drink water with nothing but lots of lemon in it, and often do. It helps my digestion. I do like lemonade, but not super sweet.

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      One of my pals used to smash lemon slices down into the sugar to make lemonade. Then add water in the lemon mash mix, stir, and serve. She tried this with Ponderosa lemons which didn't work out to well. Those lemons are VERY bitter. This lens is refreshing! =) Thanks for sharing!

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image

      floppypoppygift1 5 years ago

      I recently discovered Golden Bear lemonade by Arizona iced tea. Yum! Cheers~cb

    • ggruden2 profile image

      ggruden2 5 years ago

      The best lemonade is made from home lemons!

    • profile image

      rahuls66 5 years ago

      Hmmm...I wanna have some rightaway!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm going to have to make some lemon aid, sure will taste good. :)

    • profile image

      Hannah Writes 5 years ago

      I knew about rolling lemons, but not about soaking. Thanks for the information!

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      I never knew the tip about soaking the lemons in hot water. Great lens! Blessed

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 5 years ago

      Way beyond what I made as a kid. Will have to try some of these.

    • joanferrer profile image

      joanferrer 5 years ago

      perfect timing.. and a great lense

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 5 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Love lemonade!.. Great summertime drink!

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 5 years ago

      I love lemon, rum and honey heated up for sore throats

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Mom used to get frozen lemonade concentrate. It really was good. The powdered stuff nowadays just isn't real lemonade. I'm a lazy cook, so not sure I'll get the energy up to try your recipe.

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Love lemonade you are making thirsty just reading this.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Love lemonade and this lens! Thumbs up!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      .......and pinned out under "My Style" - I can't claim that I invented lemonade, but I wish I could!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I love lemonade, and I often use it with Stevia.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great tips! I didn't know about soaking lemons in hot water to get more juice!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      theres nothing like good lemonade

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I made 2 quarts of the best lemonade in the world with ONE fresh ponderosa lemon! Best lemons in the WORLD

    • profile image

      budgetgeek 5 years ago

      Awesome and I loove lemonade! Kudos to the "purple star" also!

    • emmesinger1 profile image

      emmesinger1 5 years ago

      This is such a beautiful balanced, aesthetically pleasing lens (not to mention the pleasure of the topic itself!). How DO you do those cool post-it note effects? From a squibee (or a newdoo?) :-)

    • Lagniappe LM profile image

      Lagniappe LM 5 years ago

      I LOVE lemonade, and I LOOOOVE it even more now that I'm pregnant. Maybe I can talk my husband into making me some! LOL

    • Mishael A Witty profile image

      Mishael A Witty 5 years ago

      My little girl loves lemonade (and lemons, in general). You're right about the canned versions. Nasty stuff!

    • puppyprints profile image

      puppyprints 5 years ago

      this lens maakes me thirsty !

    • profile image

      BradKamer 5 years ago

      Big fan of the Arnie Palmer (1/2 glass brewed ice tea and 1/2 lemonade) using lemonade made from real lemons. Nice lens

    • oxfordian profile image

      oxfordian 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for the tips. My grandfather used to make the most fantastic lemonade I ever had. He used a few limes in his recipe and it was always perfect.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      Great tips for lemonade, I didn't know that tenderizing and keeping it hot brings out more of the pulp. I add a little brown sugar sometimes instead of white, it gives it a different sweetness.

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Cool tips.

    • BusyMOM LM profile image

      BusyMOM LM 5 years ago

      I love your lemonade tips!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks, great lens.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Wow ! I just learned a lot more about lemon and lemonade.I never knew there was so many ways to make lemonade.I enjoyed reading your lens.Thanks for the info.

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 5 years ago

      Since eliminating pop from my daily routine, lemonade has become a welcome replacement. Thanks for the recipes and the lens.

    • profile image

      iris1972 5 years ago

      Thank you for some ideas for a good lemonade.

    • profile image

      athena2011 5 years ago

      I love raspberry lemonade made by Simply Lemonade. I know it's not 100% juice but it sure tastes great. I've never tried making my own but might try one of your recipes. I was impressed with combining the lemonade with warm rum as a natural healing remedy. Pretty cool.

    • lucky izan profile image

      lucky izan 5 years ago

      lemonade is my favorite, nice lens

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Great lens! I love lemonade. Blessings from a squid angel!

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      My grandmother used to make the yummiest lemonade ever where she would add few crushed raspberries for warmer color and unique taste. Delicious!

    • profile image

      Luvnit 6 years ago

      Nice lens made me start puckering for some lemonade... thanks for sharing!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 6 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I can't wait to make some lemonade. I haven't had homemade lemonade in years.

    • profile image

      jopalei 6 years ago

      Great Lens. I like it tart !

    • gamecheathub profile image

      gamecheathub 6 years ago

      You can't beat an all-natural glass of Lemonade on a hot summer day in the South. Great lens!

    • jasminesphotogr profile image

      jasminesphotogr 6 years ago

      Great lens! I love lemonade. I make homemade lemonade with organic cane sugar so often for my fiancé that I've perfected it!

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      Very well done, very good lemonade recipe. See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image

      successwithpaul 6 years ago

      yummy lemonade lots of vitamin c

    • profile image

      RecipePublishing 6 years ago

      This will be great for the entire family.

    • profile image

      jon4594 6 years ago

      wow this is really good, i have a lens on lemonade and mines crap compared to this well done :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i got excited when i saw a lens about lemonade, I love it that much!

    • javaoverride lm profile image

      javaoverride lm 6 years ago

      @UKGhostwriter: a refreshing drink for refreshing lens

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      What a great lens - I'm a big fan of a nice, sour lemonade myself, though nothing particularly spectacular in the way of recipes - just sugar, lemon, and water for me usually.

    • Psycho-Gamer profile image

      MasterPsycho 6 years ago from Earth

      This is a nice lens...good job

      Now a tip for the people working out during hot summer days....instead of wasting your money and buying the stupid isotonic drinks where you do not even know if they contain the ingredients they say they contain.....why not make a homemade isotonic drink......lemonade is a perfect isotonic drink for the people working out during hot days...but instead of sugar use honey that will make the whole difference

      in a big bottle of water (1.5 lt) i add lemon juice from 2 lemons and 5 table spoons of honey (this is how I do it ) that's a lot of honey but i like it that way because it gives me more energy during workouts

      you can expirement and see how you like it....BUT ... do not make it too sour...because increased soureness will make your mouth dry...

      and do not make it too sweet...because increased sweetness will leave you with a burning feeling at your throat

      this drinks works wonders (at least it worked for me and for my buddies)...it is natural...fresh...homemade....try it and see it for yourself

    • profile image

      NYThroughTheLens 6 years ago

      Awesome lens. It's now summer here in NYC and I have been craving homemade lemonade. Bookmarking this for future (soon!) use.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I love lemonade and make my own easily by squeezing one lemon into a quart pitcher and adding a few teaspoons sugar, just enough to take the edge off. I've never liked the super sweet lemonade most folks make. I chill it for a few hours and drink as is, no ice. Perfect beverage! Thanks so much for the lemon-warming tip. I didn't know about that and will try it when I make a new batch today.

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 6 years ago

      I have a lemon tree in my garden and never really know what to do with all lemons. I will try the lemonade. Great lens.

    • anansigirls lm profile image

      anansigirls lm 6 years ago

      I always wanted to do some homemade lemonade but couldn't find a recipe. Thank you for sharing yours.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      There is nothing like real fresh iced lemonade! = great lens

    • profile image

      huvalbd 6 years ago

      Now that I live in England, what I think of as lemonade is unavailable unless I make it. Thanks for the hot recipes--we need some of that in the house right now for a sore throat.

    • profile image

      queenmbeautycosmetics 6 years ago

      Just what I was looking for, thanks. Great lens! :-)

    • profile image

      HelanaRirosknee 6 years ago

      Lemonade, yum, love this in the summer cold, and in the wintertime hot, to soothe a sore throat and cough.

    • Iulian LM profile image

      Iulian LM 6 years ago

      We all love lemonade! Thanks for this lens!

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 6 years ago

      "The Lemonade Wars" is a great kids' book about siblings w/lemonade stands. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This lens is far from a "lemon". I love a good lemonade. Finding the perfect ratio of sweet to tart is the key. Blessed by the beverage angel and featured on Beverages Blessed by Beth.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This lens is far from a "lemon". I love a good lemonade. Finding the perfect ratio of sweet to tart is the key! Blessed by the beverage angel!

    • saraih26 profile image

      saraih26 6 years ago

      I like it really sweet..Then put tons of ice in my glass, and let the ice melt a bit, softening the the sweetness to perfection.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens. It fits in well with mine so I'm adding it to my my list of featured lenses.

    • xenoc profile image

      xenoc 6 years ago

      love lemonade!

    • profile image

      Lakiticni 6 years ago

      Enjoyed reading this. I didn't know that there are variations of lemonade, like lemonade with strawberry, hot lemonade or combinations with some other fruit! I'm definitely gonna try those out.

    • profile image

      resabi 6 years ago

      I often just drink lemons squeezed into water with no sugar whatsoever -- very refreshing. If I do add sugar, I don't do more than a couple of tsp per half gallon. Like your tips about tenderizing and soaking.

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      I'd love to try it out, I'm sure my boyfriend will like it.

    • toriphile81 profile image

      toriphile81 7 years ago

      Love Lemonade, which is funny b/c I hated it as a child. I really enjoy the frozen strawberry lemonades that are so popular in the summertime.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Seem like I have struck a cord with your lenses. This is another great one that is *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust - Drinks

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      These all sound so good,I really like your lens. It gives me a lot of idea about homemade lamonade.

    • profile image

      Swagger1 7 years ago

      Nice lens and nice info. about lemonade in Europe.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • dolphin7720004 profile image

      Eleanor Candy 8 years ago from Australia

      Great info on homemade lemonade.Thanks for the tips also.

      Keep up the good work and congratulations on the purple star.

    • Eklectik1 profile image

      Eklectik1 8 years ago

      Love , love , love lemonade and lemonade ices. Congrats on your purple star!

    • TheresaMayhew profile image

      TheresaMayhew 8 years ago

      Great lens deserving of 5 stars!

      Not only did I learn more about lemonade, but how to create an interesting lens.

      Thanks a million,

      Theresa

    • profile image

      sha2 8 years ago

      I love lemonade but cold, surprise to know there is hot and it taste lovely. Congrats to your Purple Star.

    • Adrienne Jenkins profile image

      Adrienne Jenkins 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the soaking lemon trick. Who knes?

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 8 years ago

      'Tis the season for lemonade. Yummy! Congrats on the purple star.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I'd never heard of hot lemonade until, oh, about a year ago, when my grandfather-in-law ordered it at a Mexican restaurant. The waitress looked at him like he was nuts, but he explained it, they brought it, and all six of us at the table had a taste (with our own straws, that is!), and thought it was yummy!

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 8 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Now I know how to make lemonade. I didn't know that soaking the lemons in warm water makes them easier to juice. Appealing lens that makes me want a nice cold glass of lemonade. Congrats on the purple star! Five stars for you.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 8 years ago

      I love lemonchello. My grand kids adore pink lemonade--even the boys!

      Congratulatons on the purple star!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 8 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Congratulation on the purple star!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 8 years ago from West Virginia

      Homemade lemonade is definitely the best. I always roll my lemons first. Congrats on the purple star!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your Purple Star! - Kathy