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Homemade Lemonade

A glass bottle filled with homemade lemonade syrup, a bowl of lemons, and two glasses on a wooden table.
This homemade lemonade is made with a concentrated syrup that you keep on hand and then dilute as desired. It requires only lemons, sugar, and water, and is easy as can be. Here's how to make it.
Pitt Cue Co.

Prep 45 mins
Cool 15 mins
Total 1 hr
Drinks
American
16 servings
116 kcal

Equipment

  • Large glass bottle with a stopper

Ingredients 

For the concentrated lemonade syrup

  • 10 unwaxed lemons preferably organic
  • 2 cups sugar (any kind of sugar will do but the folks at Pitt Cue Co. use light brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water

For the lemonade

  • 1 part concentrated lemonade syrup
  • 3 parts cold water or more, (you can use chilled seltzer if you like)
  • Ice (optional)

Directions 

Make the concentrated lemonade syrup

  • Remove the zest but not the underlying white pith from the lemons using a paring knife, vegetable peeler, or zester. [Editor's Note: This may amount to more zest than you've ever seen in a single place. That's okay.] Then juice the lemons. You'll probably end up with about 1 1/2 cups juice.
  • Place all the zest and juice in a saucepan, add the sugar and water, and heat slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. The liquid should approach boiling but should not actually boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Strain the mixture and discard the lemon zest and any seeds. You should have about 4 cups concentrated lemonade syrup. Let it cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, sterilize a large glass bottle and its stopper however you choose. (The authors like to thoroughly wash and dry the bottle, place it in a cold oven, and heat it to 320°F. After 20 minutes, they turn the oven off and let the jars cool slightly.)
  • Pour the warm lemonade syrup into the bottle and let it cool. Cover the bottle and stash it in the fridge until it's chilled through and up to several weeks.

Make the lemonade

  • For each serving, stir together 1 part concentrated lemonade syrup with 3 to 4 parts cold water. (We like to use 1/4 cup lemonade syrup and 3/4 cup cold water per serving.) If desired, serve over ice. Sip and sigh.