Are you in the mood for a delicious, refreshing drink but no longer excited about the lemonade you’ve bought? Then let yourself be inspired to create your own homemade lemonade.Jump to Recipe
Store-Bought Lemonade? No Way!
Who doesn’t love a glass of refreshing lemonade? During my first pregnancy, I craved that delicious citrus flavor more than just about anything else! But sadly, many pre-made, processed lemonades have a high sugar content that not only increases your risk for health problems but also makes you thirstier! Processed sugar has been linked to tooth decay, unwanted weight gain, heart disease, acne, and diabetes, so not exactly the healthiest choice.
The WHO recommends just 25 g per day, so just a glass of lemonade might exceed this daily limit of 6 teaspoons of sugar! Conventional store-bought lemonade contains between 45 g and 100 g of sugar per liter. Diet versions full of artificial chemicals aren’t any better.
So what should you do if you want a refreshing drink, but plain water doesn’t cut it? Or maybe iced tea isn’t your…cup of tea. The answer is clear: make your own lemonade!
Advantages of Homemade Lemonade
When making your own lemonade, you can determine the ingredients yourself. You can decide
- the specific flavor: Whether floral, fruity, or even spicy, there’s no limit to the flavors you can choose for your beverage.
- the intensity: Some of us like sharper, tangier lemonade; others like a smoother flavor with less lemon and more water.
- the sugar content: This is the best part about making it yourself! YOU get to control how sweet it is!
The taste of freshly squeezed lemonade will outdo store-bought lemonade any day. Also, you can get creative and make new soft drinks by substituting sparkling water for still. Furthermore, your homemade lemonade will be free of additives.
You can also infuse your lemonade with different herbs and fruits that can stimulate your mind, detox your body, and boost your wellness. For example, researchers have found that the scent of lemon has a stress-reducing effect. So combine your lemonade with some rosemary or mint for a relaxing indulgence!
Important Steps for Simple, Easy Homemade Lemonade
- Juice and strain the lemons. There a couple of tricks for getting the most juice out of your lemons (rolling them or slicing them), but my new favorite hack is to crush the whole lemons using a stand mixer. Really! Quarter the lemons and put them in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Use low speed to squeeze the lemons. Then, strain the juice directly into a measuring cup.
- Use the lemon juice to dissolve the sugar. Many lemonade recipes call for simple syrup (sugar and water boiled together) for sweetening lemonade. But, if you stir the sugar directly into the lemon juice, you can skip the simple syrup and get to lemonade faster. No heat required!
- Add cold water to taste. Since the lemon juice dissolves the sugar, go straight from lemon juice to cold water and ice and serve the lemonade straight away.
Storing Your Fresh Lemonade
Homemade lemonade should last at least three days and possibly up to ten days, depending on the ingredients you use. Lemons and limes are natural preservatives, so your delicious drinks might even stay fresh for longer. You could also freeze your homemade lemonade to use as refreshing popsicles during the warmer months, which would really extend the shelf life!
Homemade Lemonade Recipes
Sweeten your lemonade with fresh or frozen fruit, so you still have the special cooling effect in summer, and you can enjoy fresh fruit in winter. Also, don’t forget to use cold water or add lots of ice to these juices! Here are some ideas to spice up your lemonade for a fun beverage year-round.
Freestyle Homemade Lemonade: If you don’t have time to find a lemonade recipe, let your taste buds be your guide. Just take a few fruits and water and put them in the blender with some lemon juice. Depending on the type of fruit you use, you can also add something to sweeten your drink, like maple syrup or honey.
Skinny Lemonade: This lemonade has a refreshing sweetness. But, because it uses stevia instead of sugar, it contains far fewer calories than other lemonades. Mix 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 cups of cold water, and 1 tbsp powdered stevia…it’s that simple! If you want to add another healthy herbal flavor, try rosemary, mint, or basil in your lemonade. Let your chosen herb soak in the lemonade, or add a sprig of rosemary, or a few herb leaves for a fresh taste and look!
Lavender Lemonade: Who would have thought this aromatic flower would be the perfect compliment to zesty lemon? Not only that, it’s a beautiful shade of purple, perfect for your next summer soiree. All you need is water, sugar, honey, lemon juice, and dried lavender.
Cucumber Watermelon Lemonade: Cucumbers and watermelons are two of the most iconic and refreshing flavors of the summer garden, so why not take advantage? All you need to add to your regular lemonade recipe is ¼ of a small watermelon, cut into 1-inch chunks and ½ of a cucumber, peeled and sliced.
Peach Lemonade: Peaches is another one of those summer flavors I can’t get enough of. That sweet and tart tree-ripened taste just can’t be beaten. You can add mint and raspberries for a little bit of extra flavor, be sure to check out the easy recipe for raspberry peach lemonade from The Chunky Chef here.
Mango Lemonade: Mango is my favorite fruit, and it packs plenty of natural sweetness to counter-balance the tartness of the lemon. It’s made with simple ingredients: sugar, water, lemon, and mangoes. Try it for a fruity, citrusy, and refreshing drink. It’ll bring you sunshine any time of the year!
Ginger Lemonade: This spicy lemonade packs a powerful antioxidant punch! The combined nutrient boost from the lemons and ginger make this drink beneficial for everything from digestion to helping alleviate pain. Heat it, and it’s a perfect soothing drink any time of year.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 5 tbsp lemon juice ((or as much juice as you can get from 2 lemons))
- 3 cups water
- Combine sugar, ginger and lemon peel into sauce pot
- Add 1 cup water to the mixture and bring to slight boil. Let simmer (5 minutes)
- Remove mixture from heat and let sit (15 minutes)
- Pour lemon juice into pitcher. Add 3 cups water
- Add sugar mixture and stir
- Serve on ice!
To sweeten your homemade lemonade, you can use a few alternatives to refined granulated sugar or simple syrup. These are healthier options that have their own taste to enhance your lemonade. Here are a few of our favorites:
- maple syrup
- apple and pear syrup
- agave syrup
- sugar beet syrup
- monk fruit
- coconut palm sugar
Try Out Homemade Lemonade Today!
See what your kids think of these homemade lemonade recipes! Try out different variations together and create your own lemonade. You can also serve them to your guests at a summer get-together! Don’t forget to share your favorite homemade lemonade recipes with your people on FamilyApp!