There’s truly not much better than an ice cold glass of homemade, old fashioned lemonade! The quintessential summer drink on a hot day, lemonade also happens to be simple to make with just three ingredients!
Old Fashioned Lemonade
I’ve lived in the South my whole life (Dallas, Charleston, Raleigh and now Nashville) and there is just nothing more refreshing on a very hot, humid Southern day than a glass of homemade lemonade.
Not the powdered stuff, however, but a real old fashioned homemade lemonade recipe, made with real lemons!
When my brother and I lived in Charleston, we would set up a lemonade stand outside our house and make a total killing. The South Carolina summer humidity combined with what felt like 100 degrees and SO miserably humid that all the downtown Meeting Street tourists were actually melting, and 99 cents for a cup of lemonade was a no-brainer for everyone who walked by our house.
ALL thanks to our mom who kept this homemade lemonade recipe coming out by the pitcher!
Tangent: I’ll save the full story for another day of how I set up a separate stand right beside the lemonade stand where I charged 5 cents to pet my turtle because I wanted a larger cut of the lemonade profits, and then I made the front page of the Charleston newspaper…but another day, like I said… haha!
If you’ve never made old fashioned homemade lemonade, it’s super easy, trust me. You’ll wonder why you waited so long! You’ll say goodbye to all types of powdered lemonade.
My husband LOVES this old fashioned lemonade because…you see, he went to Auburn University where they’re quite known for their Toomer’s Corner lemonade (tart but in the perfect way) and it has quite the cult following, so he considers himself quite the lemonade connoisseur.
Homemade Old Fashioned Lemonade Ingredients
My homemade lemonade recipe is made with three simple ingredients:
- granulated sugar
- lemon juice – If you have the time, freshly squeezed lemon juice from fresh lemons tastes the best!
Tip for Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Roll the fresh lemons on the counter before squeezing them to help get the juice out. Also, be sure the lemons are at room temperature, it’s harder to juice when the lemons are cold.
How to Make Homemade Lemonade
- First you make a simple syrup out of equal parts water and sugar, regular granulated white sugar. Super easy, trust me. Just heat them in a sauce until boiling and the sugar has dissolved, remove and let cool. This sugar syrup aka simple syrup is what makes your lemonade sweet!
- Add the simple syrup you’ve just made in Step 1 to the lemon juice and water to a large pitcher. Add more water to taste.
- Serve over ice, and if you want to feel fancy, garnish your lemonade glass with mint sprigs and lemon wedges!
Store your old fashioned lemonade in a pitcher in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Enjoy the perfect lemonade anytime!
Now if you want to jazz things up and make spiked lemonade, simply add vodka for a lemonade cocktail!
I hope you’ll give this easy lemonade recipe a try the next time you have a bunch of lemons! It’s delicious!
If you love this homemade lemonade recipe, you might also love to try out:
- Southern Fruit Tea (a middle Tennessee staple)
- Peach Mojitos (perfect twist on the classic)
- Southern Lemon Chess Pie (my family’s favorite lemon pie)
Old Fashioned Lemonade
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 cups water - divided
- 1 1/2 cups lemon juice - freshly squeezed
- lemon slices, mint - for garnish
- Begin by making a simple syrup: in a small saucepan, heat sugar and 2 cups water to boil and stir until sugar dissolves into a syrup.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a large pitcher, add lemon juice, simple syrup, and remaining 3 cups of water. Add more water to taste.
- Serve with ice cubes, and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint sprigs.