If there is one thing that I have to have every summer it’s fresh-squeezed lemonade. There’s just something so refreshing about a tart drink on a hot day that hits the spot. I think the nostalgia of getting those lemon shake-ups (remember those things?) at fairs and amusement parts has a lot to do with it. No matter what the reason it’s just not summer unless I have a pitcher of homemade fresh-squeezed lemonade available.
This is a great recipe to make early in bulk and have on hand in the fridge. Fresh drinks like homemade lemonade can be a great way to help kids to drink less soda and sugary drinks.
How to Make Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
This is a recipe that lends itself well to using what you have on hand. For one, the ingredients are so simple that just about any house will have them in the pantry. While I always recommend using fresh ingredients when possible, this is one recipe where it’s perfectly fine to use a bottle of lemon juice concentrate if you don’t have fresh lemons available.
1/2 C of lemon juice ( or a high-quality lemon juice concentrate )
1 1/2 C granulated sugar ( pure cane sugar preferred )
6 to 8 C water
Add the sugar and 1/2 C of water to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously until the sugar has completely melted. What you’re doing here is making a simple syrup to help better distribute the melted sugar through your final lemonade and give you a lovely even sweetness throughout.
Juice the lemons and pour the lemon juice into a pitcher. You should have about 1/2 C of lemon juice. Of course, lemons can vary so you can wing it here. You can also add more or less lemon juice depending on how tart you want your fresh-squeezed lemonade to be.
If you want to get a little fancy here you can reserve a lemon to slice so that you have a few lemon slices to float on top of your lemonade. This is an aesthetic thing and will not change the flavor of the lemonade so you are welcome to choose whether you prefer your lemonade with or without this step.
Add the simple syrup that you made in our first step to the pitcher and then top off with cold water to the top of the pitcher. You want to leave a little bit of extra space at the top so that you can add ice into the lemonade. Fresh squeezed lemonade is always best when it is ice cold.
How to Store Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
Around here fresh-squeezed lemonade is a one day and done kind of thing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pitcher last past the first day. This is a recipe that is best enjoyed that first day anyway. However, it should do just fine in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days.
Fresh-Squeezed Homemade Lemonade
- ½ C lemon juice fresh-squeezed
- 1 - 1½ C granulated sugar
- 6-8 C water
- 1 C ice
- Add the sugar and ½ C of the water to a small saucepan.
- Heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar has completely melted.
- Combine the remaining water, sugar water, and lemon juice in a pitcher and stir.
- Add the ice to the pitcher and store in refrigerator.