How to Make Any Type of Lemonade Without a Recipe (2024)

Here at Food52, we loverecipes-- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: Lemonade may have disappointed you in the past, but don't go through life with asour taste in your mouth. You can makea great-tasting lemonade that's as simple or complex as you want it to be -- and you don't even need a recipe to do it.

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Lemonade lost your trust years ago. The disappointment started when you were just a wee thing, opening shop on the corner of your cul-de-sac with youthful gusto. Your money-lust wasn’t much in those days but even so -- it's hard to split a grand total of one quarter between three children.

As you grew, lemonade didn’t even try to redeem itself: It spurted out, pale and sickly, from soda fountains in school cafeterias; it brandished itself with words like “lite” and “artificial”; it sold its name to bottles of fluorescent 1%-juice drinks. At times (dark times), “lemonade” came in the form of fine powder that could be confused with the sand Sea Monkeys are born from.

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So lemonade has done you wrong. But it deserves another chance. Because on a good day, lemonade does what even water cannot. A true lemonade -- icy, acidic, sweet, sour -- satisfies thirst like no other beverage. Plus, it makes you feel like you should be on a porch swing in a quaint town, most likely in proximity to a guitar.

Next time you’re buying a couple of lemonsfor acitrusy tartor roast chicken, splurge forthe whole bag. Use the rest to make a pitcher of lemonade that won’t disappoint you.

Here’s how to do it:

1. You'll want to make a simple syrup so that you don't end up with stubborn sugar crystals hiding at the bottom of your glass. We used Alice Medrich's no-cook method, which entails shaking cold water and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved. You can eyeball the amounts, but you'll want one part water to one part sugar. If you're planning for apitcher of lemonade, aim to make at least one cup of simple syrup total.

The fun begins now! Fresh-squeezed lemonade is perfectin its simplest form, but it can also be a blank canvas for your surgesof creativity.Flavor your simple syrup however you choose:

  • Add thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, or a mixture of any leftover herbs you have in the kitchen.
  • For a spicy kick, infuse your simple syrup with hot peppers like jalapeños or sliced or grated ginger.
  • Try a cardamom-saffron simple syrupfor a South Asian-inspireddrink.
  • Replace some of thewaterwith fresh fruit juice if you want to hybridizeyour lemonade.

We wanted a slightly floral lemonade, so we added a handful of fresh lavender to the simple syrup, shook everthing together until the sugar crystals were no longer visible, and let our jar sit in the refrigerator overnight.

If you're too thirsty to wait for cold infusion, use the traditional hot simple syrupmethod. Add your flavoringswhile theliquid is still hot, then let the syrupsit for twenty minutes or so to give theflavors a chance to mingle.

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More: Make extra mint simple syrup and use it to makerefreshing mojitos.

2. When your simple syrup is infused, strain it into a clean jarand take a taste. If you used a higher proportion of sugar to water and your syrup is quite sweet, you'llknow to start slowly when adding it tothelemonade.

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3.Now is the time to use the forearm muscles you never knew you had. (After this, you will be able to lift small dogs and children as if they were light as marshmallows.) We squeezed all of the lemons we had on hand using a fancy Frenchcitron pressé (oui, oui!), but a fork will do just fine. If you have any rock-solid lemons, try microwaving them for a few seconds -- it will make it easier to coax out the juices.

Keep in mind that one lemon yieldsabout 3 tablespoons of juice, so if you want a cup of lemon juice, which is what we ended up with, you'll need to juice 5 or 6 lemons.

Now pause to admire how yellow your juice is. That's how you know this lemonade is going to taste great.

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4. Use a fine mesh sieve to transferthe lemon juice to apitcher and do away with any seeds and excessive pulp. Now you'll want to dilute the juice with cold water.You'll probably be happy with somewhere between3 and 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of lemon juice, but add slowly and taste as you go.

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More: When life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade, but you can also make incredibly silky lemon cream.

5. Pour in your simple syrup, again making sure to add in increments and to taste as you go. We ended up usingour whole jar of lavender simple syrup (a little over 1 cup) and found the mixture to be not-too-sweet. If you oversweeten with syrup or dilute with water, don't pout or pucker: Simply add more water or lemon juice, respectively. If you're looking for something a little more exciting than plain lemonade, you can add macerated or smashed berries or even puréed watermelon.

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6. Stir everything together and fill a few glasseswith ice. Pour the lemonade over top and add a lemon wedge and some freshly torn herbs if you made an infused syrup. Add alcohol for a hard lemonade.

Sipthrough a fun straw, put on a pair of sandals, and go set up a lemonade stand (and make sure to check I.D. if you're serving a hard version). You might be a little late to the game, but this stuff will sell.

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Photos by James Ransom

How to Make Any Type of Lemonade Without a Recipe (2024)


What is the formula for lemonade? ›

Combine 1 cup each of sugar and water and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set the syrup aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Combine the cooled syrup and freshly-squeezed lemon juice in a pitcher. Add the remaining water and stir, then pour over ice and enjoy!

What is the 7 step in making lemonade? ›

What are the 7 Steps of Making Lemonade?
  1. Wash fresh lemons.
  2. Combine sugar and water.
  3. Bring the sugar and water mixture to a simmer over medium heat. ...
  4. Cut the lemons in half and juice them. ...
  5. Add the lemon juice to a pitcher (paid link) of cold water.
  6. Add the simple syrup to the lemon juice mixture.
  7. Add ice and serve.
Feb 8, 2022

How to make lemonade step by step with pictures? ›

  1. Step 1: Ingredients: 3 ripe lemons (they need to be a little soft!) ...
  2. Step 2: Juice Your Lemons. You need between 1/2 and 2/3 cup of lemon juice. ...
  3. Step 3: Make the Simple Syrup. Pour one cup of sugar into your glass measuring cup and add one cup of water on top. ...
  4. Step 4: Mix and Serve!

Is lemonade good for you? ›

Since lemonade is essentially lemon juice combined with water and some sugar, it is an easy way to get a healthy dose of lemon. Vitamin C, B6, and A are just a few of the many vitamins, minerals, and healthy compounds found in a single lemon.

What lemonade does co*ke make? ›

Simply® Lemonade with Raspberry

Our delicious lemonade is made simply, with natural ingredients and a delicate balance of sweet and sour. Delicious and refreshing, Simply Lemonade with Raspberry is a delightful, all-natural and non-GMO fruit juice beverage that tastes as close to homemade lemonade as you can get.

How to make a disco lemonade? ›

How To Make A Disco Lemonade. Online recipes keep it very simple; generally 3/4 of the glass is filled with regular old lemonade, then topped off with vodka for potency, and often blue curacao for both that alluring color and sweet-tart citrus flavor.

Is Chick Fil A's lemonade homemade? ›

Chick-fil-A's lemonade has just three ingredients—water, sugar, and fresh squeezed lemons (not concentrate), mixed together and made daily at each location.

What is alcoholic lemonade? ›

New Zealand. Zeffer's Hazy Alcoholic Lemonade is crafted using freshly squeezed Hawke's Bay lemons and a special blend of apple and grape based spirits. They've also left this one unfiltered for an extra burst of lip-smacking lemon flavour.

Is it OK to drink homemade lemonade? ›

The answer is yes, homemade lemonade is healthier than carbonated lemonade, but only if you cut down on the sugar. Unsweetened lemonade is always the best way forward, allowing you to keep the hydrating properties, vitamin C, and antioxidants but cut down on the drawbacks, primarily caused by excess sugars.

How is pink lemonade made of? ›

Ingredients in Pink Lemonade Without Artificial Dye

We make a simple syrup by heating water and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then we mix it with lemon juice, cranberry juice, and some more water. Add a few ice cubes and we're done! Isn't it pretty? It's the perfect refreshing cooler for a hot summer day.

What is lemonade in chemistry? ›

In the context of chemistry, lemonade is an example of a solution, which is a hom*ogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances. In this case, it's primarily water (the solvent) with dissolved sugar and lemon juice (the solutes).

What compound is lemonade? ›

Is lemonade a mixture compound or an element? The short answer is that lemonade is definitely a mixture. There are all types of lemonade, but they all contain some sugar, water and flavoring. These components are all compounds themselves and are mixed together in no definite proportions to make lemonade.

What chemical compounds are in lemonade? ›

lemonade production, sucrose, citric acid, ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, lemon flavored emulsion, natural lemon flavor and water were added to lemon juice concentrate as determined in the formulation (Table 1) and stirred.

What is the chemical reaction in lemonade? ›

When the acid of the lemon juice (citric acid) came in contact with the carbonate base (baking soda) a chemical reaction took place, creating carbon dioxide gas (CO2). As you may know, CO2 is the same gas that is added to sodas to give them their fizz. This reaction requires an acid and a base in order to take place.


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