There’s nothing better than a glass of old-fashioned lemonade on a hot day! This classic summer beverage is the perfect combination of tart lemons and sweet sugar syrup. Serve this over a cup full of crushed ice for a refreshing treat.
We’re in the thick of summer here, and that means it’s time to figure out all the ways to stay cool. Turn on the fans, the AC, break out the popsicles and vegan ice cream, and make nice tall glasses of this old-fashioned lemonade.
Homemade lemonade is kind of a special treat, isn’t it? Of course you can just buy a bottle of lemonade or mix some up from frozen concentrate, but taking a little bit of time to make lemonade from scratch results in an extra delicious drink.
There’s something special about using fresh squeezed lemon juice – this recipe is very refreshing and delicious – just like grandma used to make.
There’s a little trick to getting that old fashioned lemonade taste…simple syrup. Instead of doing a cup full of straight sugar, you will make a sugar syrup to add to your lemonade.
How do you make simple syrup?
Simple syrup is just equal parts sugar and water that you heat on the stove. Don’t boil it, though, just heat it until the sugar dissolves. It makes the lemonade sweet, and there’s no gritty sugar at the bottom of your glass. It takes a couple extra minutes, but it’s really worth it.
Can I just use straight sugar instead of simple syrup?
You can – I used to make lemonade that way. However, it is nearly impossible to get the sugar to fully dissolve, resulting in a bit of a gritty texture and a pile of sugar at the bottom of the pitcher.
Simple syrup is a game changer! Once I started making lemonade this way, I’ve never gone back.
Can you make lemonade with bottled lemon juice?
Yes, you can use bottled lemon juice if you prefer. I think the flavor is better when you use fresh squeezed lemon juice, but if you only have bottled lemon juice on hand, don’t let that stop you from making this classic summer drink.
More refreshing summer beverages:
You can be creative with this recipe if you like! If you prefer to use a mix of lemons and limes, you can do that! If you’d like to add another fruit juice, like blueberry juice or cranberry juice, you can do that as well.
Try freezing some berries and tossing them in the pitcher before serving for a colorful and festive way to keep the lemonade cold.
Other lemon recipes to try:
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Old Fashioned Lemonade.
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice about 8 medium sized lemons
- 4 ½ cups water
For the simple syrup:
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
Place the ¾ cup water and ¾ cup sugar in a sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Juice the lemons, and put the juice in a pitcher.
Add the 4 ½ cups water and the cooled simple syrup. Stir well.
Taste and see if it is sweet enough for you. Adjust as needed.
Serve over ice.
You can use bottled lemon juice if that's what you have on hand, but the flavor will be better with fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Store leftover lemonade in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Everyone's taste is different, so if you need to add more or less sweetener, you can adjust that according to your taste.
This post was originally written in July 2016. It has been updated.
It tasted amazing!!! Although it was sour it wasnt to overpowering. It is perferct. MUST TRY
This sounds super tasty! Haven’t made my own in a very long time. I’ll have to try this when it gets warmer
Kristy from Southern In Law
Old fashioned lemonade screaaaaaaaaaaams summer for me and there’s really nothing better than making it yourself! This recipe is perfect!
Growing up in Australia you couldn’t even purchase old fashioned lemonade (here when someone says lemonade they mean sprite!) so after becoming obsessed with it on family holidays to the US, we had to come back home and figure out how to make it ourselves!
Wow, sprite is called lemonade? I’ve never heard that! Crazy! :)
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
It’s been SO hot here, so this lemonade is just calling my name. Love how fresh this is, Kelly!
I was craving lemonade so bad yesterday during the heat of the day…it’s been suuuuper toasty here! I’ll have to make this classic lemonade lickety split.
Kristine | Kristine's Kitchen
My daughter loves to make homemade lemonade, too! We love how easy it is, and her favorite part is juicing the lemons. :) These photos are so bright and pretty, Kelly!