You don't have to wait until the summer to enjoy a glass of sweet, tart, and intensely refreshing lemonade. That's what Jennifer Garner announced to her 14 million followers this week when she professed her love for our lemonade recipe in her #PretendCookingShow on Instagram. "My favorite January treat and my favorite DRY January treat," she said, and we could not agree more. (Did you know that although you can find lemons year round, they are at peak season right now?)
Jen followed along our Perfect Lemonade recipe by first making a simple syrup and then adding freshly squeezed juice (using just-picked citrus from what looked like her backyard in California—so jealous!) and water to it. Though our recipe suggests chilling the lemonade for 30 to 40 minutes before serving with ice, "I'm never able to wait," Jen admits. I can't either.
Why Our Lemonade Is the Best
When you add water, lemon juice, and sugar into a pitcher and stir, stir, stir, you'll have to stir, stir, stir for a long time until the sugar fully dissolves. Our recipe starts with a simple syrup—a mixture of equal parts water and sugar that's heated until the sugar dissolves. Then, you mix the simple syrup with fresh lemon juice and water. You won't have any grainy sugar that falls to the bottom. It's so smart!
Want lemonade tomorrow, the day after that, and all of next week? Great news! You can make a large batch of simple syrup and it'll keep in the fridge for up to one month.
Amazing Tips From Jennifer Garner and Our Readers
Jen made her lemonade with a variety of citrus—grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and lime—and you can too. She also suggested adding "a little soda water if you're fancy." We love this because we believe that our recipes are road maps, not the law of the land.
Here are other delicious ways our readers make the perfect lemonade taste even more perfect:
"Made it with 3/4 cup brown sugar. It tastes like traditional Malaysian iced lemon tea, loved it!" —Charlotte P.
"One step that takes this recipe up a notch is to use the lemon oil present in the skins along with the simple syrup. So peel all the lemons you want, put the peels in a bowl with your sugar overnight. Next day, boil water, then dump the peels and sugar into the water, stir, and let sit for a minute or two. Strain and discard the lemon peels but enjoy the fragrant oil in your lemonade." —Daniel W.
"I added a couple of basil leaves to the simple syrup and it added a lot of flavor!" —Francis J.
"You don't really have to make a simple syrup. I juiced 6 good sized lemons and microwaved juice for a minute and a half then poured into a measuring cup with the sugar and stirred til dissolved like a minute. Boom done.” —Monica M.
"For fun, we had different fruits, basil, and mint for people to choose from to make their unique cup." —Misty