Homemade Lemonade – Tasty Tuesday!

June 18, 2013 by Michelle

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I love lemonade.  If a restaurant has berry flavored lemonade, I start to drool.  But first I ask my question, “How do you make your lemonade?” because, quite simply, I don’t like the way premade lemonade tastes.  I am a lemonade purist, and making homemade lemonade is so simple.

So last week when I promised the wee ones we could make lemonade – even though it didn’t feel like summer yet (it’s arrived as of this weekend, however) – they were over the moon.  I promised they could essentially make it themselves, except for the part that involves the stove, and they headed for their rooms to clean up, figuring the sooner they did their chores, the sooner they could have their lemonade.

They were right.

We made an amazing lemonade.  Personally, I like making my homemade lemonade with brown sugar instead of white because it adds a little extra depth to the flavor and because I can use a little less sugar in my recipe that way, too.  It definitely changes the color of the lemonade, but I’m ok with that.

In fact, I’m more than ok with that because I usually make flavored lemonades.  Remember me mentioning that I drool over the berry flavored lemonade at restaurants?  The same holds true at home.  If I’m going to make lemonade, I’m going to add fruit to it, whether it’s strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or even blueberries.  I prefer using frozen berries because they release their juice more easily, but fresh, very ripe berries work just as well in these gorgeous summer months.

If my seven and nine year old can make this lemonade, you can, too.  Get ready to enjoy a little bit of sunshine!

Homemade berry lemonade recipe

Homemade Lemonade

Ingredients:
4-6 lemons
6 c water, divided
1/2 c brown sugar*
berries (optional)

*You can use white sugar, but increase it to 3/4 cup.  If you like your lemonade sweeter, you can use 3/4 cup brown sugar and up to 1 cup white sugar.  When you use the berries, however, keep in mind that they add their own natural sweetness, too.

Directions:
In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar and one cup of water.  Stir to dissolve.  You’ll notice that sugar granules remain in the water.

Sugar before cooking the simple syrup

We’re going to create a simple syrup, so simply turn the heat to medium and bring this to a boil.  Stir gently from time to time. After it’s boiled for a minute or two, turn off the heat and let the simple syrup come to room temperature.  You’ll notice that the water has become supersaturated with the sugar and that it has now fully dissolved.

Simple syrup has no sugar granules

While the simple syrup is cooling, prepare your lemons.  To extract as much juice as possible, roll them on your counter while pressing on them using your palm to break apart some of the membranes inside.  Some people also advocate heating them in the microwaves for 10-15 seconds, but I don’t find that necessary.  Cut them in half lengthwise (leaving the pointy ends intact) and squeeze out the juice into a liquid measuring cup to ensure you get one cup of juice.

Little Miss squeezing lemons for homemade lemonade

Once the simple syrup has cooled, add the lemon juice to it and stir.  Pour this into a pitcher and add another 3 cups of water.  Taste test it and see if it’s still too strong or the perfect taste for you.  I usually add between 4 and 5 cups of water to my lemonade base, but I test along the way because lemons are all different and their juice doesn’t always have the same taste or strength.  Once you’ve diluted it with water, you can’t undilute it!

Place it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.  I like my lemonade very cold, so I always add ice to my glass.

If you want a berry flavored lemonade, place about an eighth of a cup of fruit into a tall glass.  If you’re using frozen fruit, be sure you’ve thawed it first.  If you’re using fresh fruit, wash it and remove any stems or leaves you need to, then cut it into large chunks.

Using a wooden spoon, muddle the fruit in the bottom of the glass (gently mash it).

Use a wooden spoon to gently mash your fruit

Add ice cubes, then pour your lemonade on top.  Feel free to use the wooden spoon to stir it one last time to get the fruit distributed both over and under the ice.

');

Little Miss loves her lemonade

Homemade Lemonade

Homemade Lemonade

Yield: 1/2 gallon
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

This simple and delicious homemade lemonade is a perfect refreshment. Enjoy it with or without berries added for even more amazing flavor.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 lemons
  • 6 c water, divided
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • berries (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar and one cup of water. Stir to dissolve.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and bring this to a boil. Stir gently from time to time. After it's boiled for a minute or two, turn off the heat and let the simple syrup come to room temperature.
  3. While the simple syrup is cooling, prepare your lemons. Cut them in half lengthwise (leaving the pointy ends intact) and squeeze out the juice into a liquid measuring cup to ensure you get one cup of juice.
  4. Once the simple syrup has cooled, add the lemon juice to it and stir. Pour this into a pitcher and add another 3 cups of water. Taste test it and see if it's still too strong or the perfect taste for you. I usually add between 4 and 5 cups of water. Place it in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
  5. If you want a berry flavored lemonade, place about an eighth of a cup of fruit into a tall glass. If you're using frozen fruit, be sure you've thawed it first. If you're using fresh fruit, wash it and remove any stems or leaves you need to, then cut it into large chunks. Using a wooden spoon, muddle the fruit in the bottom of the glass.
  6. Add ice cubes, then pour your lemonade on top. Feel free to use the wooden spoon to stir it one last time to get the fruit distributed both over and under the ice.

Notes

  • You can use white sugar, but increase it to 3/4 cup. If you like your lemonade sweeter, you can use 3/4 cup brown sugar and up to 1 cup white sugar. When you use the berries, however, keep in mind that they add their own natural sweetness, too.
  • To extract as much juice as possible from the lemons, roll them on your counter while pressing on them using your palm to break apart some of the membranes inside.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 glass
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 68 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 12mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 13g Protein: 1g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.

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    Comments

  • Pat


    The color is so pretty, and it looks delicious, too! Great idea to use brown sugar instead of white sugar.

  • Jenn


    Found this because I ran out of white granulated sugar. I’ve used other brown sugar lemonade recipes before (I run out of white sugar often; I like to make my own lemonade; these two situations are, in fact, related), and I think this is one of my preferred ones. I ended up making an Arnold Palmer with it and Adagio’s orange and passionfruit black teas. I’d say it was probably 1/4c of each tea to 6 cups 212F water, steeped three minutes, then strained with a sieve. Letting that cool, I doubled the provided recipe, minus the water, for the lemon juice and simple syrup. Mixed it all together with about four cups of ice, let the ice melt, and bottled it up in the fridge to get it all the way chilled.

    It turned out really nice, quite rich because of the brown sugar and the tea, and the color is super dark (great if you prefer your guests not to ask for a glass—more for me :D). It’s a little at odds with the snowstorm where I’m at right now. But what can you do?

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Michelle


      That totally made my day, thank you! I’m with you on preferring homemade lemonade. Your idea sounds fantastic (and yes, I love the color of it!), but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying it even in the current winter weather!

  • Jeanette


    This recipe is great. I never have white sugar on hand(we dont ever need it) but i wanted lemonade since the tree produced all the fruit and we dont want it going to waste. Well at first i figured i could sweeten it with honey…big mistake because i probably only had 1/2 cup. So i decided to add brown sugar which this site proves that we can make lemonade anyway we see fit. 🙂 mine just has a hint of honey flavor which is good enough for me.

    • Michelle


      Oh honey would be good to have in this, too! I’m so glad it worked out for you. I’m jealous you have a lemon tree to be able to make this. So fun for you!

  • Faith


    I like to use frozen strawberries as ice and as it melts it becomes a very pretty color and it’s like strawberry lemonade.

    • Michelle


      Oh that is such a good idea! I love adding fruit to my lemonade but never thought to use frozen versions as ice cubes. I love it!

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