Thirsty for a refreshing drink? Try this homemade lemonade with a simple lemon syrup! So easy to make this recipe is perfect for summer days
This simple lemon syrup is a wonderful base for homemade lemonade, iced tea, cocktails, and so much more! You can even drizzle it over desserts to add a great citrusy flavor. It’s perfect for hot summer days or any time you want a sweet and tangy treat.
This recipe for lemon syrup requires just 3 simple ingredients! In fact, water, sugar, and fresh lemon juice are all you need. Nothing complicated or exotic, 5 minutes of time and minimal effort. And the result is sure to impress.
As the weather gets warmer, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing drink to quench your thirst. One of my favorite summer drinks is homemade lemonade with a simple lemon syrup twist. It’s ideal for any event: gatherings with friends and family, picnics, barbecues, summer parties… It’s perfect for adults and kids.
Today I’ll show you how to make your own simple lemon syrup and use it to create a delicious homemade lemonade. So grab your juicer, some fresh lemons, and get ready to make the perfect summer drink!
Benefits of making homemade lemonade
Homemade lemonade made from scratch is a healthy and cost-effective alternative to store-bought drinks. Of course, you can buy a ready-made drink in a beautiful package, but it can never be compared to a homemade one. There are several benefits to making your own lemonade:
- First and foremost, you have full control over the ingredients. Ready-made store-bought versions usually contain a lot of sugar, preservatives, artificial flavors, and other additives. While, for a perfect result, you only need simple lemon syrup and water.
- You can adjust the sweetness and tartness to your liking, which is another advantage of making it at home. You can replace white granulated sugar with cane sugar, add honey, or another sweetener of your choice.
- In addition, homemade lemonade is much fresher and more flavorful than anything you can buy at the store. I strongly advise you to use freshly squeezed juice for this recipe, because it is the main ingredient here and the flavor of the drink depends on it.
Making homemade lemonade is quick and easy, with just a few ingredients and a little bit of time. And the best part? You can customize this recipe for lemon syrup to your liking:
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. It will make this drink surprisingly flavorful and delicious. Both regular and Meyer lemons are great for this recipe. I don’t recommend using bottled lemon juice.
- Add fresh herbs like mint or basil to the pitcher for a more complex flavor.
- You can replace sugar with honey or agave syrup for a healthier option. Both regular white sugar and cane sugar can be used. Just take into account that cane sugar will change the color of the drink.
- Swap out the lemons for other citrus fruits like limes or oranges for a different twist on the classic simple lemon syrup.
- Add sparkling water or soda water for a fizzy lemonade.
- Freeze the simple lemon syrup inice cube trays and use the cubes to keep your drinks cold without diluting them.
You don’t need zest for this recipe. However, if you use organic, unwaxed lemons, don’t throw away the zest. Zest your lemons before squeezing out the juice and freeze the zest so it can be used for other recipes in the future.
You can use the remaining zest to make:
- Ukrainian baked rice pudding
- Banana yeast bread
- Baked mascarpone cheesecake
- Mushroom pate (the zest is great not only in desserts!)
Before we dive into the recipe for homemade lemonade, we first need to make the simple lemon syrup. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 5 large juicy lemons
- 200g (3/4 cup +3 Tbsp) sugar
- 500ml (2 cups + 1 Tbsp) water
How to make simple lemon syrup
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
Squeeze out the lemon juice using a juicer
Stir the freshly squeezed juice with the cooled sugar syrup. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until ready to use.
Step-by-step guide to making homemade lemonade with simple lemon syrup twist
Now that we have our simple lemon syrup ready, it’s time to make the homemade lemonade.
To make lemonade, combine 1/3 cup of the simple lemon syrup and 2/3 cup of water (plain or sparkling). Stir well. Add ice and stir again. Taste the lemonade and adjust the sweetness or tartness as desired.
Garnish it with lemon slices.
- Serve in a large pitcher with ice and lemon slices for a classic look.
- Pour the lemonade into individual mason jars or glasses and top with a sprig of fresh herbs (basil, mint, or lemon balm).
What are the other ways to use simple lemon syrup?
Use simple lemon syrup to make the most delicious homemade lemonade. And not only that!
Here are some more ideas on how to use it:
- Use it to brush cake layers. It will keep them moist and give them a fresh lemony twist.
- Use it on a fresh fruit salad. I love adding it to Italian macedonia.
- Use it to flavor drinks like iced tea, hot tea, smoothies, and cocktails.
- Drizzle it over desserts, like pancakes and waffles.
This recipe can be made in advance. Keep it in a mason jar or any other container with a lid. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir it before use. Or freeze it in ice cube trays.
Freshly squeezed juice is perfect for this recipe. It has the best flavor. Therefore, I do not recommend using bottled juice.
Whether you’re hosting a summer gathering or just looking for a refreshing drink on a hot day, give this simple lemon syrup recipe a try! So light and delicious, it’s perfect for adding a burst of citrusy flavor to your favorite drinks and desserts.
Simple lemon syrup for the best homemade lemonade
- 5 large juicy lemons
- 200g (3/4 cup +3 Tbsp) sugar
- 500 ml (2 cups + 1 Tbsp) water
- In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Squeeze out the lemon juice using a juicer.
- Stir the freshly squeezed juice with the cooled sugar syrup. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until ready to use.