Old-fashioned Homemade Lemonade with just the right amount of sweetness is the perfect, easy, three-ingredient drink for your next gathering. Squeeze fresh lemons, take some help from bottled lemon juice, or do a combination of the two.
At our last BBQ, Bob wanted to make his grandfather’s lemonade recipe, which somehow, hadn’t come up before.
I love lemonade but I’m pretty picky about it. I don’t like it too sweet and this version was perfect.
I didn’t even water it down which I normally do with all juices (persnickety, right? I’m like a child). It will be known as Grandpa Dusty’s Lemonade around here.
What makes it a bit unique is that you can make it entirely from fresh squeezed lemons or give your hands a break and use some bottled lemon juice to pick up the slack.
I find either combination to work really well.
Why you’ll love this Homemade Lemonade:
- It’s light and refreshing – perfect for summer days.
- Only THREE ingredients!
- You control the sweetness.
- You can take a shortcut from squeezing lemons and make lemonade from bottled lemon juice to speed up the process.
Equipment you’ll need
- Lemon squeezer – If you plan to hand squeeze the lemons, this will make life easier.
- Strainer – To strain the lemon juice and catch any seeds/pulp.
- Tall pitcher – I like that this one has a lid.
- Long handled spoon – To stir it all up.
Ingredients for lemonade from bottled lemon juice
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- LEMON JUICE – You’ll need 3/4 cup lemon juice whether it is fresh or bottled. Depending on your lemon size, this is approximately 4-5 lemons. If using bottled lemon juice, pick one that is 100% juice. It will have some preservatives, but otherwise shouldn’t have any other ingredients.
- SUGAR – Granulated white sugar is what I’ve tested with.
How to make Old Fashioned Homemade Lemonade 🍋
- STEP ONE: Squeeze the lemons. Roll the lemons to help release the juice and then slice in half and juice them. Save the squeezed lemons and slice them. Alternatively, you can use bottled lemon juice. Whatever way you get there, you need 3/4 cup.
- STEP TWO: Make a simple syrup. To a large pot, add the sliced, squeezed lemons, and water. Bring to a slight boil over medium heat. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved. Use a strainer to pour the sugar water into a pitcher to catch any lemon seeds, and pulp.
- STEP THREE: Assemble the lemonade. To the pitcher of lemon water, add the squeezed lemon juice and stir. Add in ice.
- STEP FOUR: Chill. For best results, chill 2-4 hours to really let the flavors come together and then enjoy!
What to serve with lemonade
Tips and Suggestions 🍋
- Wash the lemons before you get started since you’ll be using the whole lemon in the process.
- Don’t be afraid to use bottled lemon juice – just watch the ingredients to make sure you’re not getting any unnecessary additives.
- I don’t find this lemonade overly sweet as written, but you can cut down the sugar to 1 cup (or even 3/4 cup) if you like tart lemonade.
How to store it
Homemade lemonade should be stored covered in the fridge for the best results.
How long is fresh lemonade good for in the fridge?
5-7 days. Keep it covered in the fridge. If it develops a strange smell or looks different, discard it.
How do you make lemonade with store bought lemon juice?
Easily! Just follow the recipe as written but use bottled lemon juice in place of the fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Can you use bottled lemon juice in place of fresh lemon juice?
Sure can. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of lemon juice. I don’t care how you get there – fresh squeezed, bottled lemon juice, or a combo of the two – just get to 3/4 cup.
How many lemons do I need?
Depending on the size of your lemons (they can vary greatly), you’ll need approximately 4-5 lemons, plus more for garnishing.
How much lemonade does this recipe make?
This recipe makes approximately 2 quarts, which is 8 cups.
How many does it serve?
Assuming each serving is a cup, this recipe will serve 8 people.
Want a flavored lemonade? Try these:
Still thirsty? Try these:
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Old Fashioned Homemade Lemonade
- ¾ cup lemon juice approximately 4-5 lemons
- 7 ¼ cups water
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 3 cups ice
- Wash then roll then squeeze the juice from lemons until you reach ¾ cup (this should be approximately 4-5 medium lemons). Alternatively, you can use bottled lemon juice to replace or supplement the fresh lemon juice. Set aside.
- Slice the squeezed lemons and set aside.
- To a large pot over medium heat, add the water and sliced lemons. Bring to a slight boil (about 8 minutes).
- Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Use a strainer to pour the sugar water into a pitcher to catch any lemon seeds and pulp.
- Add in the fresh lemon juice and stir. Add in the ice.
- Let chill 2-4 hours in the fridge (or overnight) then enjoy!
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.
Originally published May 31, 2016
Did you have a good Memorial Day? Bob wanted to barbecue at a beach about an hour away from us, but I really just wanted to stay home. As much as I love park get-togethers, the work of it makes me tired. I won, this time, and we had family and friends over to the house.
It was a gorgeous day so we got out Julia’s water table and kiddie pool. We also snagged a new (to us) patio set from a mom-to-mom Facebook group so we got some new cushions and gave it a wipe down and had a nice setup on our deck.