How do you make great lemonade even better? Make it bubbly! Kids and adults alike will love this simple twist on a classic!
This recipe starts with my basic recipe for Simply Perfect Lemonade. Adding one simple ingredient, lemon or lime sparkling water gives this lemonade a fun, bubbly kick!
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! Seriously, the amount of juice we get from one lemon is more than you’ll get from two to 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!
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 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 do you make simple syrup?
It really is quite easy. 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. You will end up evaporating too much of your water, and you 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 always suggest starting with 4 cups, then sampling it. If it’s too strong, add more water gradually until you get just the flavor your looking for. Keep in mind you will be adding sparkling water to the lemonade, and if you are adding ice to your lemonade, it will further dilute the lemonade as the ice melts.
Do not add the sparkling water to the lemonade until you are ready to serve, or it may go flat. When you are ready to serve, put some ice in the glasses, fill the glasses 2/3 full with lemonade and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with lemon-lime wedges or slices, and ENJOY!
Check out my other lemonade recipes to quench your summer thirst…
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4-5 cups water, to dilute (Depending on your preference)
- lemon or lime flavored sparkling water, chilled
- 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.
- While the sugar is dissolving, juice enough lemons for 1 cup of juice. Typically this would be 4 to 6 lemons.
- Add the lemon juice and sugar mixture to a pitcher. Add 4-5 cups of water to the pitcher and stir well. This will vary based on personal preference. **See notes
- Refrigerate the lemonade for 2-3 hours to completely chill.
- To serve, add plenty of ice to the glasses, fill 2/3 with lemonade, 1/3 with flavored sparkling water and garnish with lemon (optional). Adjust amounts of lemonade versus sparkling water to suit your personal preference.