There's nothing more welcome on a warm day than a tall and refreshing glass of icy homemade lemonade.
Whether you're planning a lemonade stand or just want some old-fashioned lemonade with lunch, this recipe is the one you're after.
The Recipe for Old Fashioned Homemade Lemonade
There are several methods that can be used to make your own homemade lemonade from fresh lemons.
Some recipes involve squeezing, some soaking.
Some involve removing the pith and seeds, some slicing whole lemons.
All of the older recipes, however, involve using boiling water rather than cold water in the lemonade-making process.
Here's a couple of ways to make lemonade as published in Tasmania's The Daily Telegraph in 1908.
I've borrowed from the second method, though have clarified quantities and added a shortcut – so please keep scrolling to the recipe card at the end of this post for this homemade lemonade recipe.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
It's the proverbial phrase we pull out when we need to dig deep and turn our adversity into something positive.
However, we can also take that phrase quite literally. When we have plenty of lemons, making up some lemonade is a wonderful way to enjoy them.
Yep, when I get (plenty of) lemons, I'm gonna make lemonade!
And Homemade Lemonade not only tastes great, it also holds a special place in many hearts.
Lemonade stands are a symbol of the entrepreneurial spirit of young children. For years, they've been set up on roadsides and fetes as a way to make a little money and create something that the whole community can enjoy.
Movies featuring Lemonade Stalls
- Stand by Me (1986) – some young boys set up a lemonade stand as part of their adventures during a summer vacation.
- Little Giants (1994) – a group of young kids sell lemonade to raise funds for their football team.
- Problem Child (1990) - a mischievous young boy named Junior sets up a lemonade stand to raise money for charity (but causes chaos in the process).
- Grown Ups (2010) - a group of childhood friends reunite after many years and one of the characters, played by Adam Sandler, sets up a lemonade stand with his son.
If you are making lemonade to sell, just increase the quantities according to how much demand you expect. This recipe calls for 3 lemons and makes about 8 medium glasses of lemonade.
Ingredients for Old Fashioned Lemonade
To make lemonade you'll need:
- sugar (caster/superfine sugar is ideal)
- boiling water.
How to make Homemade Lemonade
This is the easiest and most effective way to make lemonade.
You'll need the ingredients along with a bowl or jug.
Wash lemons and wipe them with a clean cloth.
Next, slice the lemons (as pictured below) and place into the bowl or jug.
Sprinkle the sugar over the lemons and then pour over boiling water.
Stir to ensure the sugar dissolves.
Allow to stand for 20-30 minutes.
You can stand longer, however this risks adding too much bitterness to your lemonade.
You'll notice that most of the recipes that have a longer standing time also require removal of the pith and seeds.
I like this recipe because it's maximum sweet lemonade flavour in minimum time with less fuss.
Pour into a serving jug. Use a strainer to remove lemon slices or a muslin cloth to strain if you also want to remove the pulp – that's a personal preference.
Keep some of the lemon slices to garnish.
Place your lemonade into the fridge to chill.
Serve with ice cubes and garnish with lemon slices and some sprigs of mint.
This homemade lemonade recipe is easily adapted to suit your tastes.
- less sugar for a less sweet lemonade
- more sugar for a sweeter lemonade
- rosewater or orange blossom water for a floral twist
- mint or basil to the lemon slices and sugar before adding the boiling water for a fresh lemon taste
- some sliced strawberries or whole berries to the jug
- some honey for a lemon honey refresher
- some extra lemon zest to jug for a more intense lemon flavour.
Q. How long will fresh homemade lemonade last?
It should keep up to a week in the fridge.
Q. Can you freeze homemade lemonade?
Yes, freeze for up to six months.
Q. Which type of lemons make the best homemade lemonade?
The best type of lemons are the ones you get growing in your own backyard that are free from sprays and cost you nothing!
Meyer Lemons and Eureka Lemons are two commonly available types of lemons. Both make great homemade lemonade, but keep in mind their differences when deciding which might work best for you:
- Meyer Lemons are a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange and have a thin, smooth, and deep yellow to orange skin. Whereas Eureka Lemons are a true lemon with a thick, textured, and bright yellow skin.
- Eureka Lemons have a traditional lemony taste that is commonly associated with lemonade and other citrus-based recipes. Meyer Lemons, on the other hand, have a sweeter and less acidic taste compared and a fragrant, slightly floral aroma.
Q. Do you have other lemon recipes?
Of course! Check out my recipes for Lemon and Mint Cordial, Lemon Delicious, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Muffins, Lemon Meringue Slice, Lemon Jam, Lemon Slice, Lemon Cake, Banana Cake with Lemon Icing and Lemon Curd.
- 3 lemons
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 cups boiling water
- sprigs of mint to garnish (optional)
- Wash lemons and wipe with a clean cloth.
- Slice lemons and place into a bowl or jug.
- Sprinkle sugar over lemons and then pour over boiling water. Stir to ensure sugar dissolves.
- Allow to stand for 20-30 minutes.
- Strain off the lemon slices and pour into serving jug. Use a muslin cloth to also strain and remove pulp if desired. Retain some of the lemon slices to garnish. Place into the fridge to chill.
- Serve with ice cubes and garnish with lemon slices and some sprigs of mint.