Old Fashioned Lemonade

Homemade lemonade in a pitcher next to lemons and a juicer

This simple lemonade recipe makes a big, refreshing pitcher of homemade lemonade. Chill it in the fridge, then pour over ice and enjoy it on the deck on a hot day.


For the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

For the lemonade:

  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 67 lemons)*
  • About 3 cups of cold water
  • Ice, for serving
  • Mint leaves, for garnish, optional
  • Lemon slices, for serving, about 1-2 lemons


Make the Simple Syrup

  • Bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan.
  • Add the sugar and gently whisk it into the water until the sugar dissolves.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • Transfer to a mason jar to store in the fridge, or use immediately.**

Make the Lemonade

  • Juice about 6 lemons until you have 1 cup of lemon juice.
  • Pour the lemon juice into a pitcher.
  • Add 1/2 cup simple syrup, reserving the rest of your syrup to add as needed.
  • Add 3 cups of water.
  • Stir everything together and taste. If the lemonade is not sweet enough, add more simple syrup. If it is too sweet, add more lemon juice or water to add more tartness or to dilute it.
  • Add lemon slices from 1-2 lemons and a handful of fresh mint leaves. Stir them into the lemonade briefly.
  • Chill the pitcher of lemonade in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until your lemonade is cold.
  • Serve in tall glasses over ice, garnished with more lemon slices and fresh mint leaves if desired.


*The amount of juice in each lemon varies, hence the range in the number of lemons needed for 1 cup of juice.

**If you store your simple syrup in the fridge it will last for 1 month.

Keywords: fresh lemonade, homemade lemonade, lemonade from scratch