Homemade Lemonade – Tasty Tuesday!

I love lemonade.  If a restaurant has berry flavored lemonade, I start to drool.  But first I ask my question, “How do you make your lemonade?” because, quite simply, I don’t like the way premade lemonade tastes.  I am a lemonade purist, and making homemade lemonade is so simple.

So last week when I promised the wee ones we could make lemonade – even though it didn’t feel like summer yet (it’s arrived as of this weekend, however) – they were over the moon.  I promised they could essentially make it themselves, except for the part that involves the stove, and they headed for their rooms to clean up, figuring the sooner they did their chores, the sooner they could have their lemonade.

They were right.

We made an amazing lemonade.  Personally, I like making my homemade lemonade with brown sugar instead of white because it adds a little extra depth to the flavor and because I can use a little less sugar in my recipe that way, too.  It definitely changes the color of the lemonade, but I’m ok with that.

In fact, I’m more than ok with that because I usually make flavored lemonades.  Remember me mentioning that I drool over the berry flavored lemonade at restaurants?  The same holds true at home.  If I’m going to make lemonade, I’m going to add fruit to it, whether it’s strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or even blueberries.  I prefer using frozen berries because they release their juice more easily, but fresh, very ripe berries work just as well in these gorgeous summer months.

If my seven and nine year old can make this lemonade, you can, too.  Get ready to enjoy a little bit of sunshine!

Homemade berry lemonade recipe

Homemade Lemonade

Ingredients:
4-6 lemons
6 c water, divided
1/2 c brown sugar*
berries (optional)

*You can use white sugar, but increase it to 3/4 cup.  If you like your lemonade sweeter, you can use 3/4 cup brown sugar and up to 1 cup white sugar.  When you use the berries, however, keep in mind that they add their own natural sweetness, too.

Directions:
In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar and one cup of water.  Stir to dissolve.  You’ll notice that sugar granules remain in the water.

Sugar before cooking the simple syrup

We’re going to create a simple syrup, so simply turn the heat to medium and bring this to a boil.  Stir gently from time to time. After it’s boiled for a minute or two, turn off the heat and let the simple syrup come to room temperature.  You’ll notice that the water has become supersaturated with the sugar and that it has now fully dissolved.

Simple syrup has no sugar granules

While the simple syrup is cooling, prepare your lemons.  To extract as much juice as possible, roll them on your counter while pressing on them using your palm to break apart some of the membranes inside.  Some people also advocate heating them in the microwaves for 10-15 seconds, but I don’t find that necessary.  Cut them in half lengthwise (leaving the pointy ends intact) and squeeze out the juice into a liquid measuring cup to ensure you get one cup of juice.

Little Miss squeezing lemons for homemade lemonade

Once the simple syrup has cooled, add the lemon juice to it and stir.  Pour this into a pitcher and add another 3 cups of water.  Taste test it and see if it’s still too strong or the perfect taste for you.  I usually add between 4 and 5 cups of water to my lemonade base, but I test along the way because lemons are all different and their juice doesn’t always have the same taste or strength.  Once you’ve diluted it with water, you can’t undilute it!

Place it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.  I like my lemonade very cold, so I always add ice to my glass.

If you want a berry flavored lemonade, place about an eighth of a cup of fruit into a tall glass.  If you’re using frozen fruit, be sure you’ve thawed it first.  If you’re using fresh fruit, wash it and remove any stems or leaves you need to, then cut it into large chunks.

Using a wooden spoon, muddle the fruit in the bottom of the glass (gently mash it).

Use a wooden spoon to gently mash your fruit

Add ice cubes, then pour your lemonade on top.  Feel free to use the wooden spoon to stir it one last time to get the fruit distributed both over and under the ice.

Little Miss loves her lemonade

Homemade Lemonade

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Homemade Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 4-6 lemons
  • 6 c water, divided
  • 1/2 c brown sugar*
  • berries (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar and one cup of water. Stir to dissolve. You'll notice that sugar granules remain in the water.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and bring this to a boil. Stir gently from time to time. After it's boiled for a minute or two, turn off the heat and let the simple syrup come to room temperature. You'll notice that the water has become supersaturated with the sugar and that it has now fully dissolved.
  3. While the simple syrup is cooling, prepare your lemons. To extract as much juice as possible, roll them on your counter while pressing on them using your palm to break apart some of the membranes inside. Cut them in half lengthwise (leaving the pointy ends intact) and squeeze out the juice into a liquid measuring cup to ensure you get one cup of juice.
  4. Once the simple syrup has cooled, add the lemon juice to it and stir. Pour this into a pitcher and add another 3 cups of water. Taste test it and see if it's still too strong or the perfect taste for you. I usually add between 4 and 5 cups of water. Place it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. I like my lemonade very cold, so I always add ice to my glass.
  5. If you want a berry flavored lemonade, place about an eighth of a cup of fruit into a tall glass. If you're using frozen fruit, be sure you've thawed it first. If you're using fresh fruit, wash it and remove any stems or leaves you need to, then cut it into large chunks. Using a wooden spoon, muddle the fruit in the bottom of the glass (gently mash it).
  6. Add ice cubes, then pour your lemonade on top. Feel free to use the wooden spoon to stir it one last time to get the fruit distributed both over and under the ice.

Notes

*You can use white sugar, but increase it to 3/4 cup. If you like your lemonade sweeter, you can use 3/4 cup brown sugar and up to 1 cup white sugar. When you use the berries, however, keep in mind that they add their own natural sweetness, too.

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Comments

  1. The color is so pretty, and it looks delicious, too! Great idea to use brown sugar instead of white sugar.

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