How to Make Lemonade

Iconic of summer days and picnics, lemonade is the ultimate refresher. Before you purchase a carton, consider making your own. All you need are three ingredients and 20 minutes. You will taste the freshness!

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Ade is simply a beverage made with water, sugar, and citrus juice -- so when life gives you lemons, ade is a likable solution. California is a large producer of the very-tart lemon varieties we are accustomed to purchasing. These juicy, bright yellow lemons are available year-round and add the ideal amount of mouth-puckering sourness that makes sweetened lemonade so yin and yang.

Handling Lemons

  • Look for firm, plump lemons that are heavy for their size and have no tinge of green on the skin (this is a sign of under-ripeness).
  • Store lemons that are in good condition in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, but this vitamin starts to lose its effectiveness fairly soon after squeezing. Drink your lemonade soon after making it for the most nutritional value.

How to Juice Lemons

  • Leave lemons at room temperature for about 30 minutes before juicing for best results. Next, roll each lemon on the counter under the palm of your hand. This helps to release the juice.
  • Cut each lemon in half horizontallyand squeeze each half on a citrus juicer.
  • For 1 cup lemon juice, you will need to juice five or six lemons.

How to Make Lemonade

  • In a 1-1/2-quart pitcher stir together 3 cups cold water, 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and 3/4 cup sugar.
  • Continue to stir until the sugar dissolves. You shouldn't see any sugar settling to the bottom of the pitcher.
  • To serve, pour the lemonade into glasses filled with ice. If desired, thinly slice an additional lemon or cut it into wedges and garnish each serving with lemon.
  • To store, cover the pitcher and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Variations

  • Green Tea Lemonade: Bring 1 cup of the water to boiling and add 2 green tea bags. Let the tea steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and let the tea cool. Continue as above with remaining 2 cups water and remaining ingredients.
  • Raspberry Lemonade: Prepare as directed, except place 1 cup fresh raspberries in a blender or food processor; cover and blend or process until the berries are pureed. Press the berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the seeds. Stir the strained puree into to the pitcher of lemonade. If desired, add additional sugar. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

Garnish Ideas

  • Lemon Ice Cubes: Cut a lemon into thin slices and halve or quarter each slice. Place a lemon piece in each compartment of an ice cube tray and fill with water. Freeze for several hours until solid. Place several lemon cubes in each glass and add lemonade.
  • Muddled Fresh Mint: Place a sprig of mint into each glass. Use a muddler, which is a bartender's tool for mashing, or the back of a spoon to push the mint against the bottom and side of the glass to release the flavor. Add ice and lemonade.
  • Mixed Citrus Wheels: Thinly slice a lemon, orange, and lime and place as many slices as desired in the pitcher with the lemonade. Or place a lemon, orange, and lime slice in each glass with the lemonade and ice. 
  • Edible Flowers: Sprinkle each glass of lemonade with edible flower petals, or use whole edible flowers as a garnish.
  • Lemon Candy Sticks: Place a lemon-flavor, old-fashioned hard-candy stick in each glass as a swizzle stick.

How to Make Lemonade

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