Homemade Lemonade is actually a simple drink with not very many steps or ingredients. Lemons, sugar, water and ice is all you’ll need! Flavor your lemonade with homemade Fruit Syrups- Follow along below and I’ll show you how!
How to Make Homemade Lemonade
The first thing we need to master before we start talking about adding fruit flavors is our basic Homemade Lemonade. This homemade lemonade recipe rivals Chick-Fil-A. Yeah, I went there. 😉
All you’ll need are the basics:
- Lemons: The larger your lemons, the less lemons you’ll need! We need to end up with 2 cups of Lemon Juice. This is about 6 large lemons or 10 smaller lemons.
- Sugar: Just regular Granulated Sugar. We want equal parts lemon juice & sugar. The 2 cups of Sugar will be whisked into the lemon juice until the sugar dissolves and we have a nice Lemon Syrup. Some Lemonade recipes require boiling for the syrup, but that isn’t necessary with this recipe.
- Water: Cold water is best, we will use 5 cups of water.
- Ice: 2 cups of ice that will both quickly chill our lemonade and dilute it a little bit, which is what we want. This is a strong lemonade (which is how I like it!) but you can definitely add more ice or water to fit your liking.
To make your homemade lemonade, whisk together your lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. No sugar should sink to the bottom when you stop whisking. This will take a few minutes to accomplish. When complete, your syrup should be thicker than water, there is definitely some volume to the liquid.
Next, whisk together the water and the Lemon Syrup, lastly add in that ice. The lemonade is now ready to drink! Let’s learn how to make some fruit flavorings now. 🙂
Flavored Lemonades: Raspberry, Strawberry, Peach..Oh My!
Making flavored lemonades is not only delicious but actually really easy! If you have fruit on hand (fresh or frozen) and a little sugar, you can flavor your lemonade, too!
Making fruit syrups is really simple. On the stovetop over medium heat, we will combine 2 parts fruit to 1 part sugar with a little water to thin the syrup out a bit. Once the sugar and fruit start to sweat, letting off a little liquid. Add 1 tbsp of water and let that fruit cook until it is nice and soft. The timing here will depend on the fruit and its size.
Once the fruit is soft, run your syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any fruit skins, pulp or seeds. Pro tip: these syrups are ta-die-for on top of pancakes, too.
I generally use 2 cups of fruit and 1 cup of sugar when making my syrups. You could definitely do 1 cup of fruit to 1/2 cup of sugar if you’d like a smaller batch of syrup.
Tips for Fruit Syrups
- Cherry: I generally use pitted, frozen cherries. They tend to cook quickly and we don’t have to worry about those pits! Allow the fruit, sugar and water to boil for about 5 minutes while stirring and mashing the cherries. Run through a strainer to remove the skins or you can use an immersion blender if you’d like to keep them in.
- Raspberry: I’ve used both fresh and frozen raspberries to make the syrup. Both come together quickly. Raspberries don’t need quite as much water as some of the other fruits, you’ll want to let the raspberries, sugar and water boil for 3-5 minutes. Just until they have all been mashed. Run through a fine mesh strainer.
- Peach: Fresh or frozen peaches work well. The timing is different for each, though. Frozen peaches come in large slices, which will require a longer boil time. If using fresh peaches, cut into bite sized chunks before boiling. Boil both until the fruit is very soft and mushy, run through a fine mesh strainer to finish it off.
- Strawberry: Refer up to the recommendation for using a peach, all of the recommendations are the same. 🙂
- Blackberry: Blackberries are very similar to raspberries, although they do take a bit longer to break down while boiling. They don’t require a lot of water to thin out, as they let off a lot of liquid by themselves. Boil for 5-7 minutes or until the fruit is mushy. Run through a strainer to remove the pulp and seeds.
- Blueberry: Blueberries let off a lot of liquid and cook really quite fast. This is true for both fresh and frozen blueberries. Boil for 3-5 minutes and either use an immersion blender if you want to keep the pulp in they syrup or use a fine mesh strainer to remove.
How to make Homemade Lemonade with Fruit Flavors
Now that you have a pitcher full of Homemade Lemonade and your fruit syrup of choice (mine is Raspberry.. or blackberry.. no peach?) Let’s get to mixing together our flavored lemonades.
Mix about 1 tbsp of syrup into an 8 oz glass of lemonade. I like to put ice into my cup, pour the syrup in and then top it off with the lemonade. If you are feeling really fancy, sugar the rim of your glass, add some fresh fruit and mint on top!
How to Store Homemade Lemonade & Syrups
I like to store my lemonade and syrups separately and mix together my drink right before I drink it.
Homemade Lemonade should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for up to 5 days (if it lasts that long. 😉 ).
The syrups will keep in your fridge in and air tight container for up to 1 week.
Make Popsicles with your Lemonade
Just a quick note here about how this Lemonade recipe (with or without the fruit syrups) make uh-mazing popsicles. They are not icey at all, the flavor is top notch and honestly these popsicles might be what will get me through this crazy summer I am sure is ahead. Do yourself a favor and make at least one popsicle!!
Tools Used To make Homemade Flavored Lemonades
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Homemade Flavored Lemonade
- 2 cups lemon juice approx 6 large lemons
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 cups cold water
- 2 cups ice
- 2 cups fruit, fresh or frozen (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, etc)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Juice the lemons. Add the lemon juice and sugar to a bowl and whisk. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Measure out 5 cups of cold water in a large pitcher, add in the lemon & sugar mixture. Stir until well combined.
- Stir in the 2 cups of ice.
- Taste and add more water If needed, but remember when the ice melts it will be diluted a tad more.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the fruit and sugar.
- Stir, as the pan heats up the sugar will start to melt down and the fruit will let off liquid. Continue stirring and mashing the fruit.
- Add 1 tbsp of water to the pan and allow the mixutre to boil for 3-5 minutes* or until the fruit is very soft.
- Run the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds, skin or pulp. Allow the syrup to cool slightly before mixing your drink together.
Making your Flavored Lemonade
- Add ice to a cup.
- Pour 1 tbsp of syrup onto the ice.
- Fill the cup up with Lemonade, stir to combine.
- Add fresh fruit and mint to the drink, if desired.