How to Make Lemonade

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3-08-2019, 16:00
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Updated: July 31, 2019 Summer isn’t complete without a delicious glass of lemonade! It’s really easy to make lemonade at home, so you might be tempted to make it every day. You can mix up a pitcher of homemade lemonade by combining the juice from 8 lemons with sugar and water. If you’re feeling fancy, play around with your recipe or add garnishes to create your own special twist on this favorite.

Mixing Homemade Lemonade

  1. Juice 8 lemons to get about 1 cup (240 mL) of lemon juice. Roll your lemons on the countertop to make them easier to juice. Next, cut your lemons in half and press them onto a lemon press over a pitcher or measuring cup. Twist the lemon halves over the press to get as much juice out as possible.
    • Microwave your lemons for 10-20 seconds to soften the pulp and get more juice.
    • If you don't have a lemon press, squeeze the lemon to get most of the juice out. Then, press a fork or mixer beater into the lemon pulp and twist it to release the rest of the juice.
    • You can get a lemon press at your local grocery or department store or online.
  2. Transfer the lemon juice into a large pitcher. If you like pulp in your lemon juice, pour the squeezed lemon juice directly into the pitcher. If you don’t like pulp, hold a strainer over the pitcher and pour the lemon juice over the strainer to catch the pulp. Then, empty the strainer into your compost or trash.
    • Make sure your pitcher can hold at least 8 cups (1.9 L) of fluids.
  3. Pour 1 cup (225 g) of sugar into the lemon juice and stir to dissolve it. Since lemon juice is acidic, it can dissolve your sugar for you, which saves you a lot of work! Add the sugar directly into your lemon juice, then stir until the sugar dissolves. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
    • If you don’t want your lemonade to be as sweet, you can add less sugar. Try adding just 1/2 or 3/4 cup (112-165 g) of sugar.
    • Don’t add your water until the sugar dissolves so that the lemon juice isn’t diluted. It will take the sugar longer to dissolve in diluted lemon juice.
  4. Add 6 cups (1.4 L) of cool water to your pitcher. Measure out your water using a large measuring cup. Then, slowly pour your water into the pitcher.
    • It’s best to use cool water so that your lemonade will chill faster.
    • If you made simple syrup, just add 5 cups (1.2 L) of water.
  5. Stir the lemonade with a large spoon to combine your ingredients. Use a large plastic or wooden spoon to mix your lemonade. Continue to stir until the color is uniform and you don't see more than a light dusting of sugar settled at the bottom of the pitcher.
    • You may see some sugar at the bottom of the pitcher, and that’s okay. However, you shouldn't see a cloud of sugar.
  6. Taste your lemonade to make sure you like it. Use a spoon to scoop out a sip of lemonade. Then, taste the lemonade to see if it tastes good to you. If your lemonade doesn’t taste right, try adding one of the following:
    • If the lemonade is too sour, add a few tablespoons of sugar.
    • If the lemonade is too sweet, add the juice of half a lemon.
  7. Serve your lemonade over ice so it’s chilled. If you want to serve your lemonade immediately, it’ll taste best over ice. Place a couple of ice cubes in your glass, then pour your lemonade over it. Drink it immediately so the ice doesn’t melt and dilute your lemonade.
    • After your lemonade is cold, it’s up to you if you want to use ice. If you don’t like ice, it’s okay to skip it.
  8. Store your lemonade in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover your pitcher with a lid or a sheet of plastic wrap. Then, put it into the refrigerator. It’ll keep for about 4-5 days.
    • Stir your lemonade before you serve it so that the ingredients will be mixed well. It’s normal for them to separate while the lemonade sits in the refrigerator.

Using Garnishes and Substitutions

  1. Make sugar-free lemonade using a sugar substitute. If you’re watching your sugar intake, classic homemade lemonade might not be on your menu. However, you don’t have to miss out on this refreshing treat! Simply replace the sugar in the recipe with your favorite sugar substitute. For instance, try 1 of the following:
    • Use 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of liquid stevia.
    • Try 6 tbsp (18 g) of granulated monk fruit sweetener or 8 teaspoons (39 mL) of liquid monk fruit sweetener.
  2. Use sparkling water to create fizzy lemonade. Instead of using regular water, use chilled club soda to make your lemonade fizzy. Pour the carbonated water slowly so it won’t bubble over. Then, stir your ingredients to combine them.
    • Try plain sparkling water or use flavored sparkling water to create a unique blend. For instance, strawberry sparkling water could make strawberry-lemonade, peach seltzer will make peach-lemonade, and lemon-flavored sparkling water will enhance the flavor of your lemonade.
    • If you’re making simple syrup, use regular water to make it. Then, replace the rest of your water with sparkling water.
  3. Add 1 tbsp (6 g) of dried lavender to make lavender lemonade. To make lavender lemonade, you’ll need to make a simple syrup. Add 1 cup (240 mL) of your water to a saucepan. Then, add 1 tbsp (6 g) of dried lavender flowers and 1 cup (225 g) of sugar to the water. Heat your ingredients over medium heat for 4 minutes to make your syrup. Then, strain the water over your pitcher to remove the lavender.
    • The lavender-infused lemonade will not be purple. If you want to create a lavender color, add 1-2 drops of purple food coloring and stir. If you do not have purple food coloring, add 1 drop of red food coloring and 1 drop of blue food coloring. Be sure to stir the lemonade well to blend all of the colors.
  4. Mix in 1-2 cups (200-400 g) of pureed strawberries for berry lemonade. There are 2 ways to add strawberries to your lemonade. If you’re making simple syrup, use 1 cup (200 g) of strawberry puree in place of water when you make your simple syrup. Alternatively, mix 2 cups (400 g) of pureed strawberries into your lemonade after you mix it. Stir until the strawberries are well-blended.
    • If you're adding strawberries to your lemonade after you mix it, you don't need to replace any of the water. Just add the strawberries to the prepared lemonade.
    • Let your strawberry lemonade sit for a few minutes before you serve it to give the strawberry juices time to mix with the lemonade.
  5. Add 1  fl oz (30 mL) of vodka, rum, tequila, or bourbon for adult lemonade. You can make homemade hard lemonade by adding your favorite liquor. Pour vodka, rum, tequila, or bourbon into a shot glass or measuring cup. Then, add it to a glass of lemonade. Stir the lemonade to combine them into a refreshing adult drink.
    • Play around with different types of liquor to see which you like the best.
  6. Garnish your glass with fresh herbs or fruit slices. If you’re having a party or just want to feel fancy, garnishing your glass can make your lemonade look fancier. Choose a special glass, add sprigs of herbs, or use fruit slices. Here are some ideas:
    • Slip a short sprig of lavender, rosemary, or thyme into each glass.
    • Drop 2-3 fresh mint or basil leaves into the lemonade.
    • Cut a slit into lemon or lime slices, then slide 1 onto each glass.
    • Slice the bottom of a strawberry and push it down onto the rim of the glass.
    • Serve the lemonade in mason jars and add a colorful paper straw for a rustic touch.
    • Serve the lemonade in a tall glass with a paper umbrella and a maraschino cherry for a tropical refreshment.

Ingredients

Homemade Lemonade (Makes 7 servings)

  • 1 cup (240 mL) of lemon juice (about 8 lemons)
  • 1 cup (225 g) of sugar
  • 6 cups (1.4 L) of water
  • Ice (optional)

Optional Garnishes and Substitutions

  • 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of liquid stevia
  • 6 tbsp (18 g) of granulated monk fruit sweetener
  • 8 teaspoons (39 mL) of liquid monk fruit sweetener
  • 5 to 6 cups (1.2 to 1.4 L) of club soda
  • 1 tbsp (6 g) of dried lavender
  • 1-2 cups (200-400 g) of pureed strawberries or raspberries
  • 1  fl oz (30 mL) of liquor
  • 6-7 sprigs of lavender, rosemary, or thyme
  • 12-21 basil or mint leaves
  • 2-3 sliced lemons or limes
  • Jar of maraschino cherries

Tips

  • Freeze it to have frozen lemonade.
  • If you're worried about the ice diluting the lemonade, consider pouring some lemonade into an ice cube tray and freezing it. Use these lemonade ice cubes instead of regular ice cubes in your drink.
  • If you're using Meyer lemons, you may need less sugar, as Meyer lemons tend to be sweeter.

Warnings

  • Lemon juice will burn if you get it in your eye. Be careful as you squeeze your lemons so they don’t squirt. If you get juice in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl or measuring cup
  • Citrus squeezer or hand juicer
  • Pitcher
  • Saucepan (if making simple syrup)
  • Strainer
  • Large plastic or wooden spoon
  • Glass
  • Straw (optional)
  • Tiny umbrella (optional)
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