Start to finish: 15 minutes
Servings: 5 to 6
Difficulty level: Beginner

Lemonade is a summer-time favorite at family dinners and cook-outs. Sweet lemonade presented in a glass pitcher and served in pretty drinking glasses makes the occasion more special. Make homemade lemonade using lemon juice from concentrate, which is made from the juice of real lemons and bottled without sugar. Use the right combination of water and sugar with the lemon juice for a pitcher of refreshing lemonade with flavor balanced between sweet and tart.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lemon juice from concentrate
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon

Directions

Add the lemon juice, water and sugar to a pitcher and stir until sugar dissolves and the liquids mix.

Soften a lemon and use a knife to remove the ends. Make as many thin lemon slices as possible and add the slices to the pitcher. The lemon slices add a fresh flavor and appearance to the lemonade.

Serve the lemonade over ice in a tall glass and garnish with a mint sprig or dress up the serving glass with a fruit garnish on the rim. A strawberry or orange slice sits well and provide a last bit of edible enjoyment.

Frozen Concentrate vs. Reconstituted Lemon Juice

The concentrated, frozen lemonade sold in 12-ounce cans found in the freezer section of your grocery contains sugar. Frozen lemonade, which is an add-water-and-mix drink, is not reconstituted lemon juice, which is sold in bottles and in the small lemon-shaped plastic containers found in the produce section.

Many reconstituted lemon juice products are made from lemon juice concentrate, filtered water and lemon oil. Preservatives often are added, but no sugar. Three tablespoons of reconstituted lemon juice equal the juice of one lemon.

Variations and Tips

Variations

  • Use an alternative sweetener or a sugar substitute instead of refined sugar. Look for conversion information, such as how much aspartame or agave equals 1 cup of sugar, on the manufacturer websites or the product packaging.
  • Create a fruitier lemonade with pureed fruit, such as peaches, raspberries or blueberries. Replace 1 cup of water with cranberry, orange or grapefruit juice. Be sure to adjust the sugar based on the type of fruit you add.
  • Make ginger lemonade with peeled, thin-sliced ginger root boiled for about 15 minutes with the lemonade ingredients and allow the lemonade to chill for an hour.

Tips

  • Mix the sugar in 1 cup of hot water to dissolve the sugar quickly and thoroughly. If you use this tip, add only 5 cups of cold water to the pitcher.
  • Cover the pitcher and refrigerate the lemonade until you’re ready to serve.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the lemonade if the lemonade has a strong, bitter aftertaste.