This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Here’s how to make the best homemade lemonade recipe from fresh lemons! It’s quick and simple with excellent flavor.

Lemonade recipe
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

The best lemonade? Homemade with real lemons. Make it at home with fresh squeezed citrus, and you’ll find out why this beverage became so popular in the first place.

Make a big pitcher for parties, or you can make it by the glass. Either way, you’ll be absolutely smitten! Here’s the best homemade lemonade recipe: and it’s quicker and easier than most methods, too.

Ingredients for this lemonade recipe

You only need two ingredients to make fresh lemonade (three if you count water!). Here’s what you need to make this homemade lemonade recipe:

  • Lemons: You’ll need about 7 to 8 large lemons to make a full pitcher of 8 servings. This is a lot of squeezing, so if you prefer you can make a single glass using 1 lemon.
  • Sugar: The best sugar to use for lemonade is plain old granulated sugar. This type of sugar makes for the best yellow lemonade color. You use other sugars like cane sugar or coconut sugar: the color will just be slightly darker. If you prefer natural sweeteners, it works with honey or maple syrup, too.
Homemade lemonade

How to make lemonade

Many lemonade recipes call for boiling a simple syrup on the stove. This can be time consuming, so we decided to make our recipe even simpler. You can’t stir sugar right into cold water because it doesn’t dissolve, but we found a trick! Here’s all you have to do for this easy lemonade recipe:

  • Juice the lemons. This is the most time consuming part…by far! See below for a few tips on juicing.
  • Mix the sugar with 1 cup warm water. No simple syrup necessary! All you have to do is mix sugar into warm water and it dissolves.
  • Add the cold water and lemon juice, and some ice. Cool it back down by adding cold water, lime juice and some ice. Voila: homemade lemonade!

The best way to juice lemons

Juicing lemons might not sound intimidating, until you have to juice 7 to 8 in a row! If you don’t have a great citrus juicer, this recipe will do a number on your finger strength. Here are the best juicers we recommend:

  • Top choice: a press citrus juicer. This type of juicer is incredibly efficient and ends up getting out even more juice than other types. Here’s the press juicer we use. It’s held up the best of any method, after making 300 cocktail recipes.
  • Next best choice: a handheld citrus juicer. The next best juicer is the type with a ridged top.

Whatever the case: don’t try to juice them with your hands only! Not only will your hands hurt, you’ll get seeds into the lemonade. Of course, you can strain those out if you don’t have a juicer and are dying to make this recipe. (We won’t judge!)

Make lemonade by the glass

Don’t want to make an entire pitcher of lemonade? We hear you. This recipe makes 8 to 9 cups of lemonade, so it’s intended for parties or entertaining. Of course, you can also make a big pitcher and refrigerate it. But want to make lemonade by the glass? Here’s what to do:

  • Squeeze 3 tablespoons lemon juice into a glass. That’s 1 large lemon or 2 small.
  • Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons warm water and stir until it dissolves.
  • Add 1 cup cold water and a handful of ice. Water it down more if necessary. Enjoy!
Homemade lemonade recipe

Types of lemonade recipes

There are so many tasty spins on homemade lemonade! You can easily jazz up this lemonade recipe by using different types of fruit, or making it boozy. Here are a few ideas:

Dietary notes

This lemonade recipe is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Best Homemade Lemonade (& Variations!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 (8 to 9 cups) 1x


Here’s how to make the best lemonade you’ll taste from freshly squeezed lemons! Using real citrus gives this recipe extraordinary sweet tart flavor.


  • 1 ½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (7 to 8 large lemons)*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 cups water, divided
  • Ice
  • Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)


  1. Juice the lemons.
  2. Add the sugar and 1 cup warm water to a large pitcher and stir until it is dissolved.
  3. Add 6 cups cold water and lemon juice. Add ice and serve.


*To make it by the glass: Squeeze 3 tablespoons lemon juice into a glass (1 large lemon, or two small). Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons warm water and stir until it dissolves. Add 1 cup cold water and a handful of ice.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Squeezed
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

More recipes with lemon

The lemon is one of our most used ingredients in the kitchen! Here are a few more tasty lemon recipes:

  • Lemon Blueberry Pancakes Light and fluffy, with just the right citrus zing and sweet bursts of berries!
  • Lemon Aioli A tangy sauce great for dipping fries, vegetables or using as a sandwich spread!
  • Peas with Lemon Cooking peas with garlic and lemon makes them taste incredible.
  • Lemon Dill Salmon Takes just 10 minutes to bake! Mix up a zesty dill sauce while it cooks.
  • Lemon Water Oh so refreshing, with 0 calories and no sugar.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette Tastes like pure lemon, and uses only 4 ingredients.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!

  2. Mehakpreet kaur says:

    I love your recipe , it,s too easy