There’s nothing like the taste of perfectly sweet and tart homemade lemonade on a hot summer day. This recipe has only three ingredients and will take you back to the summers of your childhood.
Well, that’s if your childhood involved lemonade, of course! Mine didn’t. The only lemonade I drank as a young child was the frozen, canned, concentrated type. And, even that wasn’t stocked in our home very often.
When it comes to fruit juices, I don’t remember seeing too much of it. My mom would buy the powdered Kool-Aid and Tang. Those two were the only types of juice we saw much of. Fresh lemons were not something I can ever recall seeing until I was much older.
How about you? Do the summers of your youth conjure up memories of freshly squeezed lemonade? Did you have a lemonade stand? I don’t have those memories, so I’m going to make summertime lemonade memories as an adult!
THE IMPORTANCE OF SIMPLE SYRUP
The hardest part of this recipe is making a simple syrup. A simple syrup is a mixture of equal parts water and sugar. The water and sugar are added to a sauce pan and whisked together over heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Completely! That’s very important!
Whenever I make a simple syrup, which is something you’ll need to do for this Homemade Lemonade, I never leave the saucepan unattended.
Obviously, if you let the water and sugar mixture come to a boil, it’s going to bubble up and make a mess. But, if you keep the temperature of the burner low, you’ll eliminate that risk. I never leave the saucepan unattended, because as soon as the sugar is dissolved, it’s done!
Depending on the coarseness of your sugar, that could take anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Just continuously stir with a whisk until you cannot see any visible granules of sugar in the saucepan. It’s that easy!
HOW TO GET THE MOST JUICE OUT OF YOUR LEMONS
Some might argue that he best way to get all of the juice out of each and every lemon is to use a citrus reamer. They are very inexpensive and even though I have one, it’s not my favourite tool to use.
The amount of juice you get out of each lemon will depend on how you juice them. I prefer a juicer over a reamer. You can use an electric juicer or just one that sits on your counter top. Just get one with good ridges.
We have one that looks just like this. I prefer this one because it catches the seeds. If you’re juicing by squeezing the lemons by hand, you might need extra lemons!
No matter what type of juicer you’re using, there is one tool that costs zero dollars and will help you to get the most juice possible. It’s the palm of your hand and your upper body strength.
Do this – place the lemon onto your counter top and place your hand firmly on top of it. Roll the lemon forward, pressing down firmly with the ball of your hand. Roll it back and then roll it forward again. Doing this breaks down the flesh of the lemon and as a result, yields more juice.
GETTING TO THE FUN PART – POURING THAT FIRST GLASS OF COLD LEMONADE!
Simple syrup has been made and cooled. Lemons have been squeezed and the juice is prepared. So, what next? Next, you need to add five cups of cold water to a large pitcher. Then, pour in the lemon juice and simple syrup. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
If you’re serving the lemonade right away, fill the pitcher up with ice and toss in some slices of lemon. If you’re serving it later, don’t add the ice or the lemon slices. The ice will water down the juice. And the lemons will increase the tartness.
I also find that if lemon slices are left in pitcher too long, then the pith leaves a bitter taste. The pith is the white part found under that beautiful yellow skin. Nobody wants that! That’s it – enjoy, Dear Reader!
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice (6-8 lemons)
- Add one cup of the water and the sugar to a saucepan. Over medium-low heat, continuously stir with a whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. The result is a simple syrup.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Pour the simple syrup into a large pitcher and refrigerate until cooled – about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, juice the lemons, reserving 1 cup of lemon juice. (If you want sliced lemon as a garnish, you may need an extra lemon or two.)
- Once the simple syrup has cooled, add 5 cups of cold water to the pitcher and stir to combine.
- Pour in the lemon juice and stir. Add ice and lemon slices. Serve immediately.