Great lemonade is like sunshine in your glass! This lemonade is simple, sweet, refreshing, and bursting with flavor. Your taste buds will sing with just the first sip! Perfect for all of your backyard barbecues…Actually, it’s great anytime!
Great lemonade just shouts, “summer is here”! And the good news, great lemonade is not hard to make. And, of course, the star of any lemonade is the bright, sunny lemons. We have a dwarf Meyer lemon tree growing in our backyard. And most years, during the summer, it is heavy with the juiciest lemons we’ve ever seen! The amount of juice we get from one lemon is more than you’ll get from two or three store-bought lemons. We use what we can of the fresh lemons, but the tree produces more than we can reasonably use, so I juice the lemons and freeze the juice in a half-cup container. That makes it incredibly easy to pull out the exact amount of juice I need for a recipe. I don’t mind making lemonade with our frozen lemon juice, but nothing beats juicing fresh lemons!
To make this amazing lemonade, you just need three basic ingredients; lemon juice, sugar, and water. That’s it! Give up 10 minutes of your time, and you are done!
The most important step (and really the only step) in creating great lemonade is making a simple syrup. Also referred to as “sugar syrup,” simple syrup is a liquefied form of sugar commonly used to sweeten cocktails, iced tea, iced coffee, lemonade, and other cold drinks. Because it is a liquid sweetener, it is much easier to blend into cold beverages than regular granulated sugar. If you simply stirred sugar into cold water and lemon juice, the sugar would sink to the bottom. You would end up with the top half of your drink being pucker-producing tart and the bottom being over-the-top sweet.
HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP:
You gently heat 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir the simple syrup occasionally to help with the dissolving. This should really only take a couple of minutes. You don’t want the syrup to boil, or you will evaporate too much of your water, and you also run the risk of burning the sugar. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove it from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the simple syrup and 1 cup of lemon juice into a pitcher. You’ll want to dilute the mixture with cold water, then allow your lemonade to chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. When deciding how much to dilute the lemonade, I suggest starting with 4 cups and then sampling it. If it’s too strong, gradually add more water until you get just the flavor you’re looking for. Keep in mind that if you are adding ice to your lemonade, it will further dilute the lemonade as the ice melts. My personal preference is to go with 4 cups of water. When serving the lemonade, I load the glasses with ice to get super refreshing, ice-cold lemonade.
Check out my other lemonade recipes to quench your summer thirst:
Simply Perfect Lemonade
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4-5 cups water, to dilute (Depending on your preference)
- Add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Juice enough lemons for 1 cup of juice. Typically this would be 4 to 6 lemons.
- Add the lemon juice and simple syrup to a pitcher. Add 4-5 cups of water to the pitcher and stir well. **See notes
- Refrigerate the lemonade for 3-4 hours to completely chill.
- To serve, add plenty of ice to the glasses, fill and garnish with lemon (optional).