Spring is officially upon us and what better way to celebrate all the warm sunny days ahead than to whip up a batch of homemade lemonade! Now, I’m not at all going to pretend that the only lemonade my family drinks is freshly squeezed – absolutely not! When I’m short on time (which is pretty often these days!), I usually just open a package of lemonade mix and add a little water. BUT, when I’m entertaining and want a special treat that’ll impress my family and guests, this special recipe for homemade lemonade always does the trick!
So, what makes this lemonade so fantastic? 1) It consists of only three ingredients – lemons, water, and sugar. 2) It’s perfect for any occasion! You can dress it up in a fancy crystal punch bowl for a baby or bridal shower, or, you can serve it straight out of the pitcher for a BBQ or child’s birthday party. At the end of the event, you won’t have a drop left! 3) This lemonade is delicious on its own or great when mixed with other ingredients. Just add pureed strawberries for strawberry lemonade, iced tea for an Arnold Palmer, or, my personal favorite, a little vodka to transform it into a refreshing summertime cocktail – YUM! And, for another unique twist altogether, simply substitute lime juice for the lemon juice and you’ll have homemade limeade.
Ok, so now that I’ve convinced you to try it, I have to let you in on my very favorite tip for squeezing the 1 ½ cups of lemon juice you’ll need for the recipe (and yes, you do want FRESH, not out of a bottle). If you don’t have a juicer, simply pop your lemons in the microwave for around 15-20 seconds. You’ll be AMAZED at how much easier it’ll be to squeeze the lemons by hand and how much more juice you’ll be able to extract from each lemon. Light, delicious, and bursting with fresh lemony flavor, this homemade lemonade is worth every little bit of the extra effort it takes to make it from scratch! Enjoy!
Easy Homemade Lemonade
Makes 10 Cups
1 ½ cups lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 6 -8 lemons)
1 ½ cups white sugar
8 cups water
In a small saucepan, combine 1 ½ cups white sugar and 1 cup water. Bring mixture to a boil and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool at room temperature.
In large pitcher, stir together cooled syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 7 cups of water. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: If you prefer your lemonade not as sweet, reduce the sugar to 1 ¼ cups of white sugar.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr