Lemonade: sugar, water, lemon juice. Easy, right?
The Secret to Making Sure the Sugar Dissolves
Well, the problem is that if you just stir all of these together the sugar will sink to the bottom. So the best way to make lemonade is to make a simple syrup first, by heating water and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved, and then mix that with the lemon juice.
The proportions will vary depending on how sweet and strong you like your lemonade, and how sour your lemons are to begin with. Late season lemons are less sour than early season lemons. Meyer lemons are sweeter than standard lemons.
Sweeten Your Lemonade to Your Taste
Start with the proportions of 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of lemon juice. Reduce the sugar amount if you are using Meyer lemons or if you like your lemonade less sweet. (I usually use 3/4 cup of sugar.)
Make the simple syrup, combine with the lemon juice, and then add more water (and ice) to dilute the lemonade to your taste.
Simple syrup you can easily make ahead and chill for later use. If you have a bunch of lemons you need to process, you can juice them and freeze the juice too.
Watch This Perfect Lemonade Recipe
Refreshing Drinks for All Ages
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- Blended Whole Lemon Lemonade
- Watermelon Lemonade
- Pink Lemonade
For more intense lemon flavor, grate the zest from one fresh lemon and add the zest to the simple syrup as you are making it. Once the sugar has dissolved in the water remove from heat and let the zest seep in the simple syrup for several minutes, then strain out the zest when you add the simple syrup to the lemon juice.
1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 cups cold water, to dilute
Make the simple syrup:
Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir so that the sugar dissolves completely and remove from heat.
Juice the lemons:
While the water is heating for the simple syrup, juice your lemons. Depending on the size of the lemons, 4 to 6 of them should be enough for 1 cup of juice.
Mix the lemonade:
Pour the juice and the simple syrup sugar water into a serving pitcher. Add 2 to 3 cups of cold water and taste. Add more water if you would like it to be more diluted (though note that when you add ice, it will melt and naturally dilute the lemonade).
If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Chill and serve:
Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve with ice and sliced lemons.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 27g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 26g|
|Vitamin C 6mg||29%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|