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, lemonade from the can, lemonade 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!

(By the way, if you love lemon recipes, you’ll want to check out my luscious lemon delight as well!)

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

How to make fresh-squeezed lemonade in 3 easy steps:

  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

You can get one of these handy-dandy squeezable lemon juicers over at, 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!

For more easy, awesome summertime recipes?  Check out:

Luscious Lemon Delight

Best Homemade Tomato Soup

Best Homemade Guacamole

Tomato and Bocconcini Salad

2-Ingredient Homemade Creamsicles

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    • happyhooligans says

      I think it’s because you want the sugar to be fully dissolved, which you achieve by heating it in the water.

  1. diane says

    Sounds good, you can also add the juice of a squeezed orange to make it a little tastier and a wonderful rich golden yellow color for more fun. Also if the lemons are not great, a pinch of salt helps add pzazz to the drink. We actually just throw our sugar in at the end, and it dissolves fine, there just has to be enough liquid for the sugar to dissolve in before it reaches saturation point. If you like it really sweet the syrup would work better for it all to be dissolved. My 3 year old loves to make lemonade :)

  2. Sue Creasy says

    I filled the empty lemon cups with shop brought lemon sorbet and kept them in the freezer until a dessert was required…. Just right for a dinner party….!!

  3. May says

    If you poke a couple holes in each lemon and stick in the microwave for 35-45 seconds then cup your hand over the lemon and roll on the counter you get more juice out of them.

  4. says

    You’re right! Making the simple syrup was SO easy. Two questions: about how much lemonade does this recipe yield? About how many cups of lemon juice do you get from five lemons/use for this recipe?

    • happyhooligans says

      The recipe is really flexible, so you can just add as much sweet syrup and water as you need to achieve the taste you’re looking for. :)

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