When the hot summer days roll around, we've got one thing on our minds when it comes to drinks: fresh lemonade. If store-bought is your thing (and frankly, on hot, lazy, summer days, a good fresh store-bought lemonade made from real lemons can be a life saver), then check out our Guide to the Best Ready-To-Drink Lemonade. But if you've got a good juicer and 15 minutes, adding a bit of elbow grease to making your own fresh homemade lemonade will make it taste all the sweeter.
It's tough to beat the classic, and yeah, we've got a great a great recipe for Classic Lemonade here, but with all the great summer produce hitting the markets right around now, why not use some of that fruit for an upgrade?
The key to a good glass of lemonade is a balanced acidity and sweetness. I make mine by adding more lemon juice and sugar than I think I'll need to my base, then serving the whole thing with a ton of ice. Just like a properly stirred cocktail, the ice melts into the drink, diluting it down to the proper level as you drink it. If you want to have ready-to-mix lemonade on hand, all of these recipes create a concentrated base that is then combined 3 to 1 with water. The concentrated syrups will last in a covered container in a fridge for up to 5 days, though for best flavor, lemonade should really be consumed within hours after juicing.
Here are twelve recipes to get you ready for the long summer ahead. Peep through the slideshow, or jump straight to the individual slides here:
Get The Recipes!
- Classic Lemonade »
- Spicy Strawberry Jalapeño Lemonade »
- Raspberry Limeade »
- Watermelon Mint Lemonade »
- Fizzy Ginger Lemonade »
- Cucumber-Basil Lemonade with Lemongrass »
- Brazilian Lemonade (With Limes and Condensed Milk) »
- Blackberry-Sage Lemonade »
- Honey-Basil Lemonade »
- Peach-Thyme Lemonade »
- Lychee-Thai Chili Lemonade »
- Blueberry Lavender Lemonade »
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.