Easy Classic Lemonade – Recipe

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Lemonade (Still)

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American




Total time



How to make a classic Lemonade


  • 1.5 cup 1.5 Granulated Sugar

  • 1.5 cups 1.5 Lemon Juice

  • 6 cups 6 Water

  • Optional Ingredients
  • 1 tsp 1 Lemon Extract


  • Combine water, lemon juice, and sugar into a pitcher. Stir to combine.
  • If just lemon juice was used and no lemon oil was expressed from the rind. Consider adding lemon extract for extra flavor.
  • Cool the drink in the refrigerator and add ice right before serving.

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Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice Vs. Store Bought Lemon Juice

Fresh squeezed is always better than store-bought. Hands down. I’ve tried to find a store bought I like, I really have, and they all are too bitter or overly sour without being flavorful. The bitter ones taste like the whole fruit was ground up and strained. Which does add the valuable lemon oils from the zest but also adds the awful bitter pith. Others have an overly sour taste that natural lemon juice could never have while somehow being flavorless. Fresh squeeze is a lot more work but the quality of the flavor is miles better. If you plan on making a lot of juice maybe wear rubber gloves because all that lemon juice and oil does a number on your hands after a while.

Best Tools For Juicing Citrus

The best tool to use to get fresh squeezed is the squeezer that inverts the fruit instead of the one that has a ridged spiky thing that goes into the fruit. I really don’t know how else to describe it so here is a picture.

There are pros and cons to both. The juice from the squeeze tool tastes the best because a little oil from the rind is released too, but it’s the most labor-intensive. The kind with the ridged spike is easier to use but since no oil is released from the rind it is not as flavorful as the squeeze tool. This can be mitigated by adding a couple of drops of lemon essential oil.

American Style Lemonade vs. English & Australian Style Lemonade

Depending on your country, if you order a lemonade, what you get could be very different. In countries like the United States, India, and most of Asia lemonade is still, non-carbonated drink, primarily flavored with lemon juice. Actually that is lemonade in most counties with the exceptions to this being the UK and Australia. In the UK and Australia, lemonade is a clear carbonated drink primarily flavored with lemon oil. In the United States this is seen as a lemon flavored soda. In Italy, lemonade is a carbonated drink primarily flavored with lemon juice. Like San Pellegrino’s Limonata. Making the Italian style halfway between the American and UK style lemonades. These two primary styles are often distinguished as cloudy vs clear lemonade, but i prefer still vs carbonated. Not that any of this really matters unless you’re traveling or reading a recipe from a different country. First time I made a Pimm’s Cup I used American style lemonade, not really realizing it is a British cocktail and i should be using Sprite or 7up. Same goes for the shandy. Just something to keep in mind.

Is Lemonade Healthier Than Soda

No, not necessarily. The unhealthy part of soda is its high amount of sugar, and lemonade has just as much sugar as soda. Some store-bought lemonades have more sugar than a soda. For example an 8 oz Coke has 26g of sugar and here are the grams of sugar in some store-bought lemonades.

  • Simply Lemonade: 28g sugar, 11% lemon juice
  • Newman’s Own Lemonade: 25g sugar, %15 lemon juice
  • Minute Maid Lemonade: 17g sugar, 11% lemon juice
  • Tropicana Lemonade: 28g sugar, 10% lemon juice

The list goes on, but as you can see, lemonade is worse than a Coke in some cases because extra sugar is needed to offset the sourness of the lemons. You can also see a correlation between how much sugar is added and how much lemon juice a drink has. For comparison my recipe it is 16% lemon juice with 31g of sugar. Oh no, my recipe is the most unhealthy of all but it also has the most lemon juice. If you want healthy, drink water.

What Is The Best Lemonade Recipe Ratio?

A standard base ratio for making lemonade is:

  • 1 Part lemon juice
  • 1 Part sugar
  • 4 Parts water

This ratio results in a generally pleasing sweet-to-sour flavor and is similar to most other high-quality recipes. This ratio can be adjusted to make for lemonade that is either sweeter or more sour. Use the 1:1:4 ratio as a baseline. Some recipes that have less lemon juice will add granulated citric acid and lemon oil to make up for containing less juice as they try to save money. And this isn’t bad. Citric acid and lemon oil taste great together, but its still being done to get it close to the flavor of the 1:1:4 ratio.

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