This simple and perfect lemonade is exactly what a good homemade lemonade should be. It is cooling, refreshing, and perfect for sipping on a hot day! This drink is also the perfect blend of sweetness and acidity. It takes very little time to make and only 3 easy-to-find ingredients.
Looking for other refreshing drink ideas? Let me share a few I love! Mojito mocktails are some of my favorite drinks, I have a raspberry, blueberry, and even a blackberry version. Virgin pina Coladas is another creamy drink option that is so tasty!
What Makes This Drink So Good?
As soon as you taste it, you will know. This drink is the perfect balance of mild sweetness, and a bit of acidity. That blend makes it refreshing. There isn't a better drink for enjoying on the front porch on a hot summer day.
It is really simple to make. Sure the simple syrup takes a few minutes to cook, but other than that, it is quick!
Everything can be made ahead of time. Simple syrup can easily be made at least a week in advance and you can juice your lemons at least 4 days in advance. Then when you are ready, mix them together.
The beauty of this lemonade is it is made with 3 easy to find ingredients. Let me tell you:
- Lemons- This is freshly squeezed lemon juice. Lemon juice concentrate is not the same, I promise you!
- Granulated sugar- Granulated sugar has a very neutral flavor, which is why I love it. You can also use honey, and if you do, skip the simple syrup step. Honey does have a distinctive flavor though, which is why I personally don't like it for this recipe.
- Water- Nothing fancy here, I grab mine straight from the tap. I mean, use bottled if you prefer, but it isn't necessary.
- First, start by making your simple syrup. I am explaining this in detail below. Can you just mix the sugar and water together? Of course, but it is so much better if the granules are cooked and dissolved. 50 million bartenders cannot be wrong on this!
- Next, juice your lemons.
- Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, water, and ice. Add in additional lemon slices for garnish. That is it!
What is simple syrup? It is a syrup made with water and sugar. The syrup is used as a sweetener for drinks, giving them a smooth flavor instead of drinking the gritty granules.
I make my syrup with a 50/50 blend of sugar and water. For this recipe, it is 1 cup of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar.
Cook it on the cooktop at medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the sugar has dissolved, you won't see any more granules in the liquid it is done. You can let it cool or use it right away.
If you use it when the syrup is hot, make sure and
- Do not skip the simple syrup part. I know there are tons of recipes that mix the sugar right in, but for best results, make the simple syrup and dissolve the sugar.
- You can easily make the simple syrup ahead of time. Make it up, cool, and place it in the fridge for up to 5 days without any issues. When you are ready, pull it out, and mix in the lemon juice, water, and ice. So simple!
- There are many types of juicers, so choose what most appeals to you. Here is the one I use and love. If you are juicing a lot, you can also get an electric one, those are really nice! I don't use it enough to give it kitchen space.
- Be mindful when choosing your lemons. The flavor of your lemons will determine the flavor of your lemonade. I like to use lemons that give a little when you squeeze them, but not too much. I also like the ones with a little thinner skin.
- You can switch up the citrus in this recipe if you want! Swapping limes straight across. You can also swap the lemons out for fresh orange juice or fresh grapefruit juice. orange juice will not need to be sweetened as much as lemon, lime, or grapefruit.
- If you want to make this a berry lemonade, you can also mash about 2-3 tablespoons of berries. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of my favorites.
- For a fun twist, you can add 1 tablespoon of culinary lavender into the simple syrup while it is cooking. Strain it out before adding it to the lemonade. I love lavender lemonade.
- For a refined sugar-free lemonade, you can use honey in place of the simple syrup. If you decide to do this, make sure you add the honey before the ice and mix well. Once the drink is chilled, it is really hard to incorporate the honey.
Simple and Perfect Lemonade
- sauce pan, strainer
- 1 cup water for simple syrup
- 1 cup granulated syrup
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Add water and sugar to a saucepan. It is best if this is a thick-bottomed saucepan. Turn heat to medium and mix well. Allow to heat until sugar is dissolved. Mine took about 5 minutes or so, this will depend on the temp of your cooktop. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove it from heat and allow it to cool.
- Once it has cooled slightly, we can begin
- Add your simple syrup, lemon, juice, and 1 quart of water to a pitcher. Mix it well and taste. If you like, add in more water. This will depend on how strong your lemons are and what your tastes are like.
- Last in is the ice. I love a well-chilled lemonade!