Making your own fresh squeezed lemonade is easy and fun! Make it by the glass or by the gallon with this versatile homemade lemonade recipe.
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Nothing is better on a hot summer day than fresh squeezed lemonade. There’s a reason lemonade stands pop up all over the place and young entrepreneurs everywhere pin their hopes on selling vast quantities of it.
There is a HUGE difference between lemonade from concentrate or powder and lemonade that is made fresh with just real lemons, water, and sugar. If you want to avoid preservatives, chemicals, corn syrup, and all kinds of other nastiness, then it’s totally worth it to make your own!
How Do I Easily Squeeze Lemons for Lemonade?
Option 1: If you have muscles to spare, you can just squeeze them with your hands. If you have any cuts on your hands, though, the lemon juice running over them will not feel nice.
Option 2: You can use a hand-juicer like this.
Option 3: (Highly recommended, especially if you are making lemonade for a crowd and have a lot of lemons to juice). The Black and Decker Citrus Juicer. This is what I have, and I LOVE it.
You plug it in and then just press down on the top with your lemon, and the juicer rotates automatically! Lift up and press down again, and the juicer switches directions so that you can really get all the juice out of that lemon!
It also has adjustments for the amount of pulp you want to let through, and it catches all the seeds. The container measures the amount of juice, and there’s a spout so you can pour the juice out without even taking the top off.
How to Make Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
The first thing you actually want to do is boil some water and sugar together to make a simple syrup. Why can’t you just add sugar to cold water and then add lemon juice? (This is what my daughter wanted to know).
It’s because the sugar won’t dissolve all the way and will just collect at the bottom of your pitcher. Boiling the sugar and water together gets the sugar to fully dissolve (and stay that way).
You’ll need 1 cup of sugar and 1 1/4 cups of water. Just add them to a small pan on the stove and heat over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has all dissolved. Then simmer for another five minutes. Then take the pan off the burner and let it cool for about 20 minutes.
While the simple syrup is cooling, it’s time to juice your lemons! You’ll need about 4 small/medium lemons.
Just slice them in half and then squeeze the heck out of them. You will have the most luck and get the most juice if you use a juicer, like the ones I suggested above.
As you can see, my Black and Decker Citrus Juicer caught A LOT of seeds!
Your goal is to get 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Now all you do is add the lemon juice, simple syrup, and extra water to a pitcher! The amount of water you add depends on how sweet you want your lemonade. You can add between 3 and 4 cups of water. (Start with three and taste it and then add more if you want).
And that’s it! Super easy!
How to Make Fresh Squeezed Lemonade by the Glass
If you want to make a single glass of lemonade, just add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a glass along with 1/4 cup of simple syrup and 3/4 cup to one cup of water. Taste and add more water if desired.
How to Make Fresh Squeezed Lemonade by the Gallon
To make fresh squeezed lemonade for a crowd, you’ll want to quadruple this recipe. To break it down, you’ll need:
16 small/medium lemons (enough to make 2 cups of lemon juice)
4 cups of sugar mixed with 5 cups of water to make the simple syrup
An additional 12-16 cups of water, to taste.
Just follow the same steps as illustrated above in the post to make the lemonade.
How Long Does Fresh Squeezed Lemonade/Lemon Juice Last?
If you want to squeeze your lemons and make your simple syrup beforehand and then mix the lemonade together just before serving, you need to know how long your fresh squeezed lemon juice will last.
The answer is 2-3 days, covered, in the refrigerator. The simple syrup will last indefinitely 🙂
Once you mix up the lemonade, it will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
If you end up with more lemon juice than you need, you can freeze it! An easy way to do it is to pour it into an ice cube tray. Then once the juice is frozen, pop the blocks out of the tray and put them in an airtight plastic bag and return to the freezer.
Is Fresh Squeezed Lemonade Healthy?
Well, even though it’s more healthy than lemonade concentrate or powder or most other bottled lemonades (because it doesn’t have preservatives or chemicals), I’m not sure I would call it “healthy” due to the amount of sugar.
If you’d like a sugar-free recipe for lemonade, you can get it here.
O.K. Have I answered all your fresh squeezed lemonade-related questions? If not, please leave a comment!
This recipe adapted from Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade in the book Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 1/4 to 5 1/4 cups water, divided
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 small/medium lemons, juiced)
- Add the 1 cup of sugar and 1 1/4 cups of water to a small saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, simmer another five minutes and then remove from the burner. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Juice your lemons and save 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Once the simple syrup has cooled, pour it into a pitcher, along with the 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
- Add 3-4 cups of cold water, to taste. Chill for at least an hour, or serve immediately with ice cubes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 0gSugar: 41gProtein: 0g