Perfectly light and sweet, this Freshly Squeezed Lemonade will keep you cool and satisfy your sweet tooth this summer.
This has been a hot and humid summer so far here in Oklahoma. We spend a lot of time in the kiddie pool and playing with the garden sprinkler to stay cool. Occasionally, we love to make homemade sweet drinks to beat the heat.
So, in honor of the first day of summer this week, I will share my favorite Freshly Squeezed Lemonade Recipe.
Perfectly sweet and refreshing, this light treat will satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling heavy on your stomach.
How to Make Freshly Squeezed Lemonade
Pour five cups of cold water and one cup of sugar into a pitcher (these measurements don’t have to be exact; you can always add more water or sugar as needed). Using a whisk, stir while scraping the bottom and sides of the pitcher until the sugar is completely dissolved and the water turns mostly clear–about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
Next, squeeze the juice from 6-7 lemons (about 1 ½ cups of juice). Fresh lemons are the key to making delicious lemonade. Although you may be tempted, do not use bottled lemon juice. Trust, me; fresh is best.
To Pulp, or not to Pulp
If needed, strain the squeezed juice through a fine mesh strainer to clear out any unwanted seeds or debris your child may have thrown in during the process. If you love chunky juice like me, clean out the debris but do not discard the pulp. Simply scoop out the seeds (and Cheerios), discard, and set the seedless pulp aside. Or, to save dirtying another dish, simply scoop the pulp directly into the pitcher of sugar water while you munch on the lemony, but slightly soggy, cereal pieces.
Pour the squeezed lemon juice and pulp (if using) into the sugar-water mixture and stir until combined. Taste, and if needed, add the remaining ½ cup of sugar, or more if desired.
If you use pulp, it might make the lemonade more tart so you may need to add more sugar or water to reach your desired level of tartness. You can also tone down the sourness by adding cold water (¼ cup at a time).
Find the Perfect Balance
I don’t like my lemonade overly sweet, but I also don’t want to make an intense sour face after every sip. Although I admit, I am that mean Mom who gives lemons and grapefruit to my 8-month-old babies because that baby pucker face is so cute. But for my everyday lemonade, I’ll stick to the perfect, sweet-to-tart ratio.
I used the pulp and juice from 6 large, juicy lemons and I added almost the full 1 ½ cups of sugar and it was perfect.
An Artistic Flare
If you’d like, garnish with extra lemon slices and mint sprigs for a splash of color and a taste of minty freshness (I highly recommend the mint; it adds a perfect depth of flavor). Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
Enjoy, and stay cool!
Check out some of our other favorite recipes like this simple and delicious guacamole–another perfect recipe for summer!
Perfectly light and sweet, this freshly squeezed lemonade will keep you cool and satisfy your sweet tooth.
20 minPrep Time
20 minTotal Time
- 5 cups cold water
- 1-1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 6-7 lemons, juiced (about 1 ½ cups)
- Pour 5 cups of cold water and 1 ½ cups of sugar into a pitcher. Using a whisk, stir while scraping the bottom and sides of the pitcher until the sugar is completely dissolved and the water turns mostly clear--about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- Squeeze the juice from 6-7 lemons (adjust as needed to make about 1 ½ cups of juice).
- If needed, strain the squeezed juice through a fine mesh strainer. If desired, save the pulp. Then, discard the seeds and add the separated pulp to the sugar-water mixture.
- Pour the lemon juice into the sugar-water mixture and stir until combined. Taste, and if needed, add additional water and/or sugar and whisk until incorporated and the added sugar is fully dissolved.
- Garnish with extra lemon slices and mint sprigs. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
*The amount of sugar you use will depend on the size, juiciness, and sweetness of your lemons, and your personal preference. I usually start with 1 cup of sugar and add more to taste or use additional water to even it out.
*If you use pulp, it often makes the Lemonade more tart. Simply whisk more sugar into the pitcher to reach your desired sweet/tart balance. I used the juice and pulp from 6 very large and juicy lemons, added just under 1 ½ cups of sugar, and it was perfect for us.