Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade in 3 Easy Steps

When it comes to refreshing summer-time drinks, you can’t beat a glass of old-fashioned, fresh-squeezed lemonade! It’s tart, cool and delicious, and it’s super-easy to make!  Just 3 easy steps and 3 ingredients: fresh lemons, sugar and water!

My boys love lemonade!  Yellow lemonade, pink lemonade, from the can, from the carton… they’ll honestly drink it anyway you serve it, and they drink it all year ’round.  For a real treat, several weeks ago, I made my first batch of real, homemade lemonade, and wow!  It was amazing!

easy fresh-squeezed lemonade recipe

I was surprised and completely delighted to find out how easy real lemonade is to make, and I’m not kidding you, my guys can’t get enough of it!  Because it only takes a few minutes to whip up a fresh batch, I make some every few days, and we’ve been enjoying old-fashioned, hand-squeezed, lemonade all summer long!

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To make my homemade lemonade, you’ll need:

lemons, sugar and water for homemade lemonade

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 lemons
  • 5 more cups water

3 easy steps to fresh-squeezed lemonade:

  1. simple syrup
  2. squeeze the lemons
  3. mix it all together

Let’s start with the simple syrup:

This part always intimidated me a little bit.  In fact, it’s probably the one reason why I’d never made lemonade from scratch.  Ha!  It couldn’t be any easier.  Seriously!  It literally takes about 2 minutes.

Here’s how you do it:

Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small pot and stir over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.  That’s it!

Remove from heat, and let it cool while you’re squeezing your lemons.

How easy was that?  You can see here that my 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar produced a cup and a half of simple syrup.

measuring cup of simple syrup

Next step: the lemons!

This is my favourite part because the smell of freshly-squeezed lemons is one of my favourite scents ever!  One whiff of a lemon or a lime, and I’m in heaven!  It’s been that way since I was a little kid.  I love the smell of citrus fruits!

Two ways to juice a lemon:

OK, so , there are two ways that I know of to juice a lemon.  The first method calls for an old fashioned, lemon juicer.

glass lemon juicer and lemons

Now, there are all kinds of  lemon juicers and lemon squeezers  over at Amazon.com, but I love my glass juicer.   It seriously gets every single drop of lemon juice out of a lemon.

If you don’t have a lemon juicer, don’t fret!  The second method doesn’t require anything fancier than your hand and a fork!

How to juice a lemon with a fork:

This is really easy and really fun, and you’ll be surprised by how much lemon juice you can actually get out of a lemon this way!  I works almost as well as the glass juicer!  This is how to do it:

step by step getting juice out of lemon with fork

  1. Simply spear a lemon half with a fork.
  2. Hold the lemon half in one hand and the fork in the other.
  3. Squeeze the lemon in one hand while pumping the fork up and down with the other hand, as if it were the handle of a water pump.
  4. Continue to squeeze and pump until you’ve extracted all the lemon juice that you can.

Strain your lemon juice:

Pour the  lemon juice through a strainer, and mash the pulp around to get every last drop of lemony goodness.

Turn those lemons into lemonade:

Now, pour your lemon juice into a pitcher.

Add the 5 cups of water.

Add as much or as little of the simple syrup as you like.

The nice thing about making homemade lemonade is you can sweeten it as much or as little as you like.  I use all of the simple syrup to make a pitcher of my lemonade, but you can make your lemonade to suit your taste.  Sample a little as you’re mixing the syrup into the juice, and your taste buds will let you know when you’re happy with it.

I have to show you a the cool pitcher that I keep our homemade lemonade in.  It’s an infuser pitcher. There’s a column in the middle of the jug which attaches to the lid, and you can fill it with fruit to make fruit-infused water, or to make your fruit juice fruitier.  I fill that column with several lemon wedges to add some extra zip and zing to my lemonade.

Of course, you can always just float lemon slices or wedges in a regular jug to get the same effect.

infuser pitcher filled with lemon wedges and lemonade

Pop your lemonade into the fridge to chill it, or serve it immediately over ice!

jug of fresh squeezed lemonade

Mmmmm!  So refreshing!

And what to do with those empty lemon rinds?

lemon rinds and mini muffin tin

I washed the outsides of the rinds and popped them all into a mini-muffin tin.

lemon rind cups filled with water

I filled them all with water, and put them in the freezer overnight.

lemon halves filled with ice

Now I have  a bunch of icy lemon cups to toss into a fruit punch, or a jug of ice water!

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Yours in play, Jackie from Happy Hooligans

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