Skip the sugar and make homemade lemonade with honey! Check out this easy homemade lemonade recipe plus 4 flavorful and fruit lemonade variations to change it up!
For me, there’s not a single drink that brings such strong positive childhood memories as lemonade. There’s something about lemonade that just screams summer. With a single sip, I time-travel to those carefree summer days, back when I didn’t think about the sugar content or quality of the lemonade I was drinking. Life’s so much better in the summer, isn’t it?!
Things change, though. Seasons change, and so does lemonade. It still brings back those wonderful memories, without a doubt, but ever since I decided to quit sugar and stick to a healthier lifestyle, I started to adapt my favorite recipes. And those definitely include lemonade.
Fortunately, homemade lemonade is one of the easiest things to make. Mixing freshly squeezed lemons with water and sweetener could not be simpler. But, we’re past those lemonade-stand recipe that calls for so much sugar that even a can of soda seems like a better option, now aren’t we?
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN HOMEMADE LEMONADE?
Like I mentioned in the previous section, all ya need to make basic homemade lemonade is: lemons (preferably freshly squeezed), water, and a sweetener of choice. To make homemade lemonade healthy, I sweeten it with raw honey instead of granulated, highly processed sugar or — gasp — corn syrup. Other sweetener options could be pure maple syrup, if you’re vegan, or some coconut sugar (though that will significantly change the color of your lemonade. Try to avoid any highly refined sugars to maintain better sugar levels — look out for white sugar and corn syrup.
Although I love an old school lemonade and it’s always a crowd pleaser, I like to add a bit of variety every now and then. That’s why I chose to make some variations to my homemade lemonade recipe by adding some different fruits, including strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and raspberries.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE LEMONADE
There’s nothing more refreshing than old-school homemade lemonade. Bonus: It’s also super easy and quick to make. For the basic homemade lemonade recipe you will need only 3 ingredients:
- fresh lemons
- water and
- a sweetener of choice <— more on this later!
We’ll be using raw honey to sweeten our drink since it’s much better for you than refined sugar (spoiler: it tastes better, too!). Keep reading for more info on the best types of sweeteners that are’t regular white sugar for your lemonade.
To make homemade lemonade, all you have to do is follow these super basic steps:
- Add the water and raw honey to a pot or saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir just until the honey is dissolved.
- Remove the honey water from the heat (it should take just about a minute).
- In a pitcher or large container, add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and water (see exact amounts in the recipe below)
- Add the raw honey mixture, as needed, to bring about the desired level of sweetness.
- Refrigerate until chilled and then serve over ice.
Tips for How to Make the Best Lemonade
We’ve all had that amazing glass of ice cold lemonade and wondered why all lemonades can’t be THAT good, am I right? Remember the last time you ordered a lemonade and were disappointed because it was too weak or too sweet or too much pulp or … This is the beauty of making your own lemonade at home. Not only is it super easy, but you’ll be able to customize your lemonade and follow all the best tips for how to make the best lemonade.
- Use fresh lemon juice – void buying lemon juice from concentrate or pre squeezed lemon juice. It just won’t taste the same.
- Use good quality ingredients – fresh, vibrant lemons, raw honey, and good quality water will all help to make your lemonade taste great.
- Don’t just add all the sweetener – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Make sure to taste test the lemonade mixture to see how much honey water you’ll need to add to get it to suit your tastebuds.
- Keep or remove the pulp – if you really don’t like pulp, you can strain the lemonade through a fine mesh sieve to easily remove the pulp.
- Make sure to refrigerate – after you mix everything, I find lemonade needs a little time to gel in the fridge to get those flavors to jive together and make the most flavorful lemonade.
- Add more flavors – try using one of the added fruits to your lemonade to make a whole new delicious flavor of lemonade.
- Consider making a little extra to turn into ice cubes for later so your ice doesn’t “water down” your lemonade.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE LEMONADE LAST?
Homemade lemonade is best served fresh and chilled, but it’s also a super easy recipe to make ahead for the week. Generally speaking, homemade lemonade will last in your fridge for up to 7-8 days. The longer it sits in your fridge, however, the more strong the flavor will become. To avoid a super butter lemonade by the time Day 7 comes around, here are some tips:
How To Store Homemade Lemonade:
- Add a little water, as needed, to dilute to combat with the strength of the lemon juice
- If storing for longer periods of time, remove any fruit by straining so only the juice remains (you can always add that fruit back in when you’re ready to serve.
- Use an air-tight container to store your lemonade so the lemonade stays as fresh as possible and doesn’t absorb any odors from your fridge.
- Keep lemonade refrigerated.
Properly stored, it will last up to 8 days in your fridge.
IS LEMONADE HEALTHY?
Since lemonade is made from freshly squeezed lemons, it’s gotta to be healthy and good for you, right? Well, yes and no. Lemon juice is full of minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system. It also helps digestion and mineral absorption and aids weight loss.
While drinking lemonade has many benefits, store-bought lemonade often has a VERY high amount of sugar which makes it as bad for you as any other sugar-filled drink. The good news is, when making lemonade at home, you have more control over the ingredients and can easily make lemonade a healthy drink to enjoy.
Let’s be honest here, really, the only not-so-healthy component of lemonade is the sugar. Luckily, you can easily make lemonade healthier by swapping sugar with healthier, natural sweeteners.
How To Make Lemonade Sugar-Free
Our main goal to make lemonade healthier is to replace the highly refined granulated which will spike your blood sugar levels through the roof and then leave you with a sugar crash. I love lemonade, but no thanks on that. Here are some healthier non-sugar options for how to sweeten your lemonade without sugar:
- Coconut Palm Sugar – this sugar is actually sap from the coconut palm which is heated and evaporated which reduces it to granules. Coconut sugar is nutritious and has a low score on the glycemic index (which essentially means it doesn’t tax your body and make you crash after giving you a sugar rush). Coconut sugar tastes similar to brown sugar, but slightly richer. (Here are some recipes that use coconut sugar).
- Raw Honey – is simply honey that has not been filtered or pasteurized so it includes beeswax, royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis (a substance collected by honeybees from tree buds, used to fill crevices and seal honeycombs.). Raw honey is pretty awesome. It’s used by many cultures as a remedy for ailments, including ulcers, digestion problems, and as an antibiotic. Raw honey contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. Make sure to look for raw in the name, as processed honey has no such health benefits. (Here are some recipes that use raw honey).
- Pure Maple Syrup – contains beneficial nutrients, lower Glycemic Index score (so not as harmful to liver), helps with digestion, and contains antioxidants. When used in appropriate amounts, pure maple syrup benefits can lower inflammation, supply nutrients, and better manage blood sugar. (Here are some recipes that use pure maple syrup).
Each of these non-sugar clean sweetener alternatives would work well in your lemonade to sweeten, but my favorite is raw honey because the sweetness is so rich and it doesn’t impair the color as much as the others. For more info on sugar, check out my post on how to quit sugar!
Alright, let’s get to the homemade lemonade recipes!
Homemade Lemonade Made With Honey
This lemonade is made with raw honey and is a great healthy alternative to your typical white sugar, over sweetened lemonade recipe.
Zesty, tart lemon and sweet ripe strawberries make the best summer combo. Try this homemade Strawberry Lemonade Recipe and see for yourself!
I discovered my love for this flavor combo a long time ago when I made this Lemon Blueberry Sorbet for the first time. It was just a matter of time before I added blueberries to make Blueberry Lemonade as well!
Nothing tastes like summer more than fresh, juicy peaches! Add them to your lemonade for some extra fruity sweetness with this Peach Lemonade!
You can never go wrong with fresh berries, especially when it comes to lemonade and this Raspberry Lemonade. Make this refreshing pink lemonade your go-to this summer!
Homemade Lemonade + 4 Easy Lemonade Recipes
- 6 cups water, divided
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 4-6 large lemons)
- 1 lb strawberries (to yield 1/2 cup juice)
- 2 cups Homemade Lemonade (see recipe above)
- 2 pints blueberries (to yield 1/2 cup juice)
- 2 cups Homemade Lemonade (see recipe above)
- 3 cups chopped peaches (approx. 3 lg. peaches, to yield 1/2 cup juice)
- 2 cups Homemade Lemonade (see recipe above)
- 1 cup raspberries (to yield 1/2 cup juice)
- 2 cups Homemade Lemonade (see recipe above)
Combine 1 cup of the water with raw honey and gently heat until the honey is dissolved, then transfer out of the sauce pan and allow to cool. Set this aside because we’ll be using it in a little bit.
Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the bottom of a pitcher, followed by our simple honey syrup, and then fill the remainder of the pitcher up with the remaining 5 cups water. Stir to combine. This now makes our base honey-sweetened Homemade Lemonade recipe.
To break down the strawberries, add fresh strawberries to a blender and then puree them until they're evenly broken down.
Then, transfer the pureed strawberries to a fine mesh sieve and press through to get strained strawberry juice. If you wanted to add the strawberry pieces to the lemonade, that would work as well, but this step will make it a smooth lemonade.
Add 1/4 cup of the strawberry juice to the bottom of a mason jar or tall glass, followed by the base lemonade recipe we made earlier, and then top it off with some ice cubes to keep it cool.
Start by adding fresh blueberries to a sauce pan and heating over medium-high heat. We want the blueberries to break down and release their juices. They’ll also become a darker color in the process.
Then, transfer the cooked blueberries to a fine mesh sieve and press through to get strained blueberry juice.
Add 1/4 cup of the juice to the bottom of a glass, followed by our fresh lemonade, and then add some ice cubes to finish it off.
Add diced peaches to a sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat. We want the peaches to break down and release their juices, so cook them, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and liquidy.
Then, transfer the cooked peaches to a fine mesh sieve and press through to get strained peach juice.
Add 1/4 cup of the peach juice to the glass, then fill it to the top with the lemonade recipe, and then add ice cubes to get it cold.
Break down the raspberries by adding them to a blender and then puree them until they're evenly broken down.
Then, transfer the pureed raspberries to a fine mesh sieve and press through to get strained raspberry juice. If you wanted to add the raspberry pieces to the lemonade, that would work as well, but this step will make it a smooth lemonade.
Add 1/4 cup of the raspberry juice to a mason jar or glass, then fill it to the top with the base lemonade and then add a few ice cubes to get it cold.
Nutritional info provided is for Strawberry Lemonade.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.
33 thoughts on “Homemade Lemonade + 4 Easy Lemonade Recipes”
I’m a little lazy when it comes to making home made cold drinks etc, but I made your lemonade recipe and squeezed out a few oranges and then added some good quality rooibos tea. I honestly think that rooibos made it better and I’m sure that playing with different types of fruits would also work and you need alot less fruit juice so it makes it a little more affordable.
Love this idea. Thanks, LM! -Jen
Hi Lacey. Great recipes. My question is about the raw honey. If you heat it doesn’t that destroy its nutrients?
Hi Grace! Interesting question. From what we’ve researched, heating the honey above 113 °F can potentially weaken or destroy enzymes, vitamins, minerals. To avoid this, just heat your water to a warm temperature (around 80 °F) and then add the honey. This will dissolve the honey while also maintaining more nutrients. Thank you for pointing this out, we will update the recipe to include this note! -Jen
I plan on making these soon. What about a cucumber mint lemonade (I love the one at Cheesecake Factory) but a healthier version?
Ooh love this idea. Thanks Mary! I’ll pass it on to Lacey : )
So far I have done the homemade Lemonade juice twice.
I Love it. Thank you Lacey.
I agree with you
Hi love to try you’re home made lemonade.
More recipes to come. Thank you & GODbless!!!
I really love this lemonade recipe. It is really amazing. A best ever refreshing recipe to try out this summer. Here i have some amazing and refreshing sweet and savory lemon recipes. Check out the recipes here: https://www.foodybud.com/sweet-and-savory-lemon-recipes/
it was so nice and my kids loved it
can u plz do the recipe for feijoa lemonade
Thank you for this Lemonade recipe. In this time of COVID-19, I found myself utilizing lemons from my lemon tree for citrus (Vitamin C) and out of granulated sugar. Respecting authorities’ wish to not go out approaching the viral surge in my area, I’m using what I have. I have plenty of raw honey. and wanted the recipe to substitute honey for granulated sugar. This is perfect. Thank you!!!
The recipe was amazing thank you so much for that lovely homemade leamonade
Thankyou so much these were so simple and easy to follow and taste delicious and so refreshing in the hot summer in Australia 😊
What can I add to the lemonade if I want it to last for at least two months because I will love to make it for commercial purpose.
Pls what can I add to the lemonade mixture?
Hey Weena Lacey Baier,
Your lemonade recipes are the best i have come across. We tried them all and it was GREAT. To say they were delicious is an understatement! Thank you very much.
Yay! That makes me so happy to hear !!
I was looking for a homemade lemonade and found your site and glad I did. I am going to try your recipes and then let you know. Your sight looks great and I’m glad their are healthy alternatives.
How many cups of lemon juice and water would I need for a gallon of lemonade?
I made a batch of lemonade with honey it was so delicious couldn’t stop drinking it up in just two days. But I’m making more today. Also, I’m battling colon cancer right now and your lemonade with honey recipe has made my body feel good with energy.
Thank you so much I have your website in my favorites.
Hi Lacey. Your lemonades look so delicious! I like that it doesn’t have sugar. Have you made a watermelon lemonade? Would you make it the same way as the strawberry and raspberry lemonade?
what size pitcher should I use? your recipe doesn’t say, should I use a 1 quart or 2 quart pitcher
I’d use a 2 quart pitcher for these recipes. 🙂
6 cups of liquid is 1 1/2 quarts and site the lemon juice and honey, it will take a 2 quart pitcher
I would also like to know what size picture and how much more water to add
My question exactly…common!
In total, there are 6 cups of water, but it’s divided. You’ll use 1 cup to make the simple honey syrup, and then the remaining 5 cups of the water to finish off the lemonade. I’d use a 2 quart pitcher just to be safe. Hope that helps! 🙂
In total, there are 6 cups of water, but it’s divided. You’ll use 1 cup to make the simple honey syrup, and then the remaining 5 cups of the water to finish off the lemonade. I’d use a 2 quart pitcher just to be safe. Hope that helps!
Instructions for home made lemonade say to “Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the bottom of a pitcher, followed by our simple honey syrup, and then fill the remainder of the pitcher up with cold water” – but you don’t say how big the pitcher is – so I don’t know how much additional water I’m adding to get the right dilution of the freshly squeezed lemons. Can you clarify?
Ah! I see what was confusing – so sorry for that. I’ve updated it to make it clearer. The total water will be 6 cups in the basic lemonade. Use 1 cup to make the honey simple syrup, and then add that as needed to sweeten. You’ll be adding the other 5 cups of water to the lemonade recipe. Hope that helps to clarify! 🙂 I’ve also updated the recipe to reflect this to make it clearer.
homemade lemonade is the best 🙂
Comments are closed.