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Making Homemade Lemonade

I wasn't that big on lemonade as a kid. As an adult, I've found that I love it—but only when I can control how sweet or tart it is.

Learn how to make delicious tasting lemonade.

Learn how to make delicious tasting lemonade.

If Life Gives You Lemons, 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?


Do You Like Lemonade?

What I talk about here is the U.S. 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!



Juice Your Own Lemons for the Best Flavor!

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 Variations

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

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.

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

Lemonade Lovers Chat

Jennifer on June 06, 2019:

Great tips. i want to try them with a recipe I found for blackberry lemonade. So good!

Robert Sacchi on May 19, 2019:

Thank you for the lemonade tips.

pinaysweet on May 21, 2014:

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 on May 15, 2014:

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

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on April 28, 2014:

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

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on April 28, 2014:

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

writerkath on April 27, 2014:

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

Rae Schwarz (author) from Seattle, WA on September 13, 2013:

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

Elaine Chen on September 13, 2013:

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

akusphinx on September 07, 2013:

nice.. slurp!

mel-kav on September 05, 2013:

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 on August 16, 2013:

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!

DebMartin on July 15, 2013:

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.

Rae Schwarz (author) from Seattle, WA on July 11, 2013:

@Rhonda Lytle: I didn't think of it until having some really disappointing lemonade...

Rhonda Lytle from Deep in the heart of Dixie on July 10, 2013:

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 from Miami Beach, FL on February 15, 2013:

Fresh lemonade is the best.

Pat Goltz on January 02, 2013:

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.

Maria Burgess from Las Vegas, Nevada on December 21, 2012:

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 on September 24, 2012:

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

ggruden2 on September 13, 2012:

The best lemonade is made from home lemons!

rahuls66 on September 11, 2012:

Hmmm...I wanna have some rightaway!

anonymous on August 26, 2012:

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

Hannah Writes on August 25, 2012:

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

gatornic15 on August 15, 2012:

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

Doc_Holliday on July 25, 2012:

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

joanferrer on July 04, 2012:

perfect timing.. and a great lense

Melissa from Albuquerque, NM on June 30, 2012:

Love lemonade!.. Great summertime drink!

mysweetjane lm on June 24, 2012:

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

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 18, 2012:

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 on May 18, 2012:

Love lemonade you are making thirsty just reading this.

Barbara Isbill from New Market Tn 37820 on April 19, 2012:

Love lemonade and this lens! Thumbs up!

Rose Jones on April 18, 2012:

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

Rose Jones on April 18, 2012:

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

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on April 03, 2012:

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

anonymous on April 01, 2012:

theres nothing like good lemonade

anonymous on March 29, 2012:

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

budgetgeek on March 23, 2012:

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

emmesinger1 on March 19, 2012:

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 on March 11, 2012:

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 on March 11, 2012:

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

puppyprints on February 25, 2012:

this lens maakes me thirsty !

BradKamer on January 31, 2012:

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 on January 18, 2012:

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.

jimmyworldstar on January 17, 2012:

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.

poutine on January 14, 2012:

Cool tips.

BusyMOM LM on January 10, 2012:

I love your lemonade tips!

anonymous on December 21, 2011:

Thanks, great lens.

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on December 19, 2011:

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 on November 27, 2011:

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

iris1972 on November 17, 2011:

Thank you for some ideas for a good lemonade.

athena2011 on November 15, 2011:

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 on November 14, 2011:

lemonade is my favorite, nice lens

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on November 06, 2011:

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

elyria on October 18, 2011:

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

Luvnit on September 21, 2011:

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

MariaMontgomery from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 17, 2011:

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

jopalei on September 06, 2011:

Great Lens. I like it tart !

gamecheathub on September 03, 2011:

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

jasminesphotogr on August 16, 2011:

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 on August 11, 2011:

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

successwithpaul on July 29, 2011:

yummy lemonade lots of vitamin c

RecipePublishing on July 28, 2011:

This will be great for the entire family.

jon4594 on July 20, 2011:

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

anonymous on July 19, 2011:

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

javaoverride lm on July 16, 2011:

@UKGhostwriter: a refreshing drink for refreshing lens

JoshK47 on July 07, 2011:

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.

MasterPsycho from Earth on July 06, 2011:

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

NYThroughTheLens on June 29, 2011:

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

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on June 08, 2011:

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 on May 27, 2011:

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 on May 26, 2011:

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

UKGhostwriter on May 19, 2011:

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

huvalbd on May 18, 2011:

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.

queenmbeautycosmetics on May 08, 2011:

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

HelanaRirosknee on May 01, 2011:

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

Iulian LM on April 25, 2011:

We all love lemonade! Thanks for this lens!

TheresaMarkham on April 17, 2011:

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

anonymous on April 16, 2011:

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.

anonymous on April 16, 2011:

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 on February 12, 2011:

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.

anonymous on February 05, 2011:

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

xenoc on February 01, 2011:

love lemonade!

Lakiticni on January 31, 2011:

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.

resabi on January 19, 2011:

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.

scar4 on December 13, 2010:

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

toriphile81 on September 03, 2010:

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 on August 09, 2010:

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

Obscure_Treasures on August 01, 2010:

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

Swagger1 on June 09, 2010:

Nice lens and nice info. about lemonade in Europe.

VarietyWriter2 on May 31, 2010:

Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

Eleanor Candy from Australia on July 22, 2009:

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

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

Eklectik1 on June 23, 2009:

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

TheresaMayhew on June 23, 2009:

Great lens deserving of 5 stars!

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

Thanks a million,


sha2 on June 21, 2009:

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

Adrienne Jenkins on June 18, 2009:

Thanks for sharing the soaking lemon trick. Who knes?

squid-janices7 on June 10, 2009:

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

Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on June 09, 2009:

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!

Mickie Gee on May 30, 2009:

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

Congratulatons on the purple star!

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on May 29, 2009:

Congratulation on the purple star!

CherylsArt on May 29, 2009:

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

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