Homemade Lemonade with Simple Syrup
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade Recipe – Low Sugar Option
How to Make Homemade Lemonade with Simple Syrup
This is seriously the BEST fresh squeezed lemonade recipe – complete with a full sugar, low sugar, and sugar free option! And it couldn’t be easier to make, with only 3 ingredients: fresh lemon juice, water, and homemade simple syrup (or store-bought). Learn how to make homemade lemonade with simple syrup for an unbeatable summer refreshment.
Personally, I prefer a homemade lemonade recipe that’s nice and SWEET, which is why I like to make it with simple syrup. Of course, a granulated sweetener will work just as well, if preferred. With the bright, tart flavor of fresh lemon juice, this fresh squeezed lemonade makes me grateful for the heat on a hot summer day!
You can use your favorite store-bought simple syrup, but it’s so simple (pun intended) to whip up a batch at home in a few minutes. My homemade cane sugar simple syrup recipe is my personal favorite for lemonade, or you can try my coconut sugar simple syrup recipe. Or, for a low sugar lemonade or a completely sugar free option, try my low sugar & keto simple syrup recipes!
Is homemade lemonade bad for you?
Homemade lemonade is a deliciously sweet, tangy beverage that’s rich in vitamin C and ultra-refreshing on a hot summer day! In my view, there’s a lot that’s great about homemade lemonade. On my journey to food freedom, I’ve let go of calling foods “bad” because I’ve seen how these labels can do more harm than good in my relationship with food. Calling a food “bad” often leads us to feel bad about ourselves for eating it (or wanting it).
When it comes to lemonade, I recognize it’s a beverage I enjoy drinking! Sure, it can also be helpful to recognize that lemonade isn’t a nutritious meal on its own, and some lemonades are higher in added sugars. Still, nothing about lemonade is inherently “bad” for us! If you’re concerned about the sugar content, this fresh squeezed lemonade recipe has many options to adjust the sugar to your preference.
If you’re interested in exploring your relationship with food more deeply, enroll in my online Food Freedom course.
How to Make Fresh Lemonade from Scratch
- Prepare homemade simple syrup of choice (or use store-bought variety).
- Juice 6-8 lemons to get 1 cup of juice.
- Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, and water in a pitcher, stirring to combine.
- Chill fresh squeezed lemonade for about an hour in the fridge, then serve over ice and enjoy!
How many lemons make a cup of lemon juice?
In general, 6-8 lemons will yield around 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, depending on the size of your lemons. It never hurts to get a few extra lemons just in case, as well as for garnishes when serving!
Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh?
Sure, bottled lemon juice can be used in this homemade lemonade recipe, but I don’t recommend it. For the best, brightest flavor, use fresh squeezed lemon juice! Fresh juice has a uniquely potent, tart, tangy flavor that melds perfectly with the sweetness of simple syrup or sugar. In contrast, bottled lemon juice tends to have a sour flavor, which isn’t ideal for a sweet lemonade.
How long does fresh squeezed lemonade last in the fridge?
Stored in a covered pitcher or jar, this fresh squeezed lemonade recipe will last around 5-7 days in the fridge. Although, in my house, the pitcher is always empty within a few days!
Sweetener Options & Alternatives
The process for how to make fresh lemonade is as simple as juicing, mixing, and chilling! The lemon juice is a given, but you’ve got several options for how you might want to sweeten your homemade lemonade recipe. Personally, I think the tastiest lemonade is made with simple syrup—and I’ve got a regular cane sugar, a sugar free, and a low sugar version.
- Cane Sugar Simple Syrup made with cane sugar and water. Full sugar content and full sweetness.
- Sugar Free Keto Simple Syrup made with allulose (or granulated erythritol or monk fruit). Completely sugar free and satisfyingly sweet—though it can have a hint of aftertaste for some.
- Low Sugar Simple Syrup made with a mixture of half sugar & half allulose (or erythritol/monk fruit). Half the sugar content, yet just as satisfyingly sweet and tastes like the real deal!
Can you use regular sugar instead of simple syrup?
Yes, you can also make fresh squeezed lemonade with a granulated sweetener instead of simple syrup. Keep in mind, this generally requires heating the water and granulated sweetener first in order to dissolve the sweetener. (Which is what you’re doing when you make simple syrup, anyway.) Of course, you’re welcome to try just stirring the raw granulated sweetener into the cold beverage and see how it turns out—it just likely won’t be as integrated!
If you want to use regular granulated sugar, cane sugar, or even granulated stevia, try adding ½ cup of granulated sweetener to start, then sweeten to taste. Generally, you’d want to substitute for 1 cup of simple syrup with ⅔ cup of granulated sugar, but taste as you go to see when the sweetness is right for you.
To make this lemonade recipe with granulated sweetener instead of simple syrup:
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in ⅔ cup granulated sweetener of choice, until dissolved.
- Transfer mixture to a pitcher and combine with 1 cup fresh lemon juice and remaining 4 cups of cold water.
- Chill in the fridge 2 hours before serving over ice.
What drinks can I make with lemonade?
You can use this homemade lemonade recipe to make loads of other refreshing summer drinks! These are a few of my favorite DIY Starbucks remakes recipes:
To see how this fresh squeezed lemonade is made, watch my Homemade Lemonade + Summer Drinks video!
Homemade Lemonade with Simple Syrup
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, (from 6-8 lemons)
- 1 cup homemade simple syrup, (or store-bought)
- 6 cups water
- Prepare homemade simple syrup of choice and allow to cool (or use store-bought).
- Juice fresh lemons through a fine mesh strainer to get 1 cup juice.
- Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, and water in a pitcher, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Chill for an hour or so in the fridge before serving over ice.
- Yields about 8 cups (64oz) of homemade lemonade.
Nutrition for homemade lemonade made with cane sugar simple syrup recipe:Per 1 cup (8oz):
68 calories | 0g fat | 19g carbs | 0g fiber | 17g sugar | 0g protein
Nutrition for homemade lemonade made with sugar free simple syrup recipe:Per 1 cup (8oz):
8 calories | 0g fat | 19g carbs | 0g fiber | 1g sugar | 0g protein
Nutrition for homemade lemonade made with low sugar simple syrup recipe:Per 1 cup (8oz):
38 calories | 0g fat | 19g carbs | 0g fiber | 9g sugar | 0g protein