Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade

How to make real lemonade (the most lemony lemonade you've maybe ever tasted!) with a simple technique that extracts extra flavor from the lemon peels.

PLUS Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade is the first recipe in a new collection of easy-easy summer recipes, "Summer Easy" I call it - there's even a theme song!

Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade. It's extra lemony! (How? The zest infuses flavor into the sugar!) Recipe, tips, nutrition & Weight Watchers points @ KitchenParade.com.
Easy Summer Recipes ♥ KitchenParade.com. Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!
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When I was 12, the county 4-H clubs hired a bus to haul kids to the Minnesota State Fair 300 miles south.

Twas a trip of memorable firsts: I became a “woman” – if you know what I mean. In the darkness of a carnival ride, a boy named Joel held my hand. But most of all, I discovered the elixir of summer, real lemonade.

Good news, perfect lemonade is as close as our kitchens, no bus, no boy required.

ALANNA's TIPS The secret to the best lemonade is to extract the aromatic oils from the rinds. To use wine lingo, this makes the lemonade "full-bodied" with a "long finish". And extra lemony! When prepping the lemon peel, you want only the yellow part called the zest, not the white part which is called the pith. A knife works but is slow. A rasp Microplane works but consider straining the zest out after steeping. I use an inexpensive special tool for lemons that I really love. It’s called a "lemon stripper" or a "channel knife". There's no speeding this recipe along without losing lemon flavor. But you can chill your serving pitcher while putting it all together. That makes a little difference! The cookbook suggests freezing an extra batch in ice cube trays. Lemonade with lemonade ice cubes, anyone? Or gin and tonics with lemonade ice cubes? The ideas are endless!


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 5-1/2 cups
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • Peel (see TIPS) from 4 lemons
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Juice and pulp from 4 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • Extra lemon slices, for garnish

INFUSE SUGAR WITH LEMON OILS In a four-cup glass bowl, combine the sugar and lemon peel. Let rest for 30 minutes, longer is fine, less not so much.

Pour the boiling water over the sugar mixture (four cups water will fill it alllllmost right to the top) and stir until sugar dissolves. Let the liquid steep for 30 minutes, for a head start chilling the lemonade, do this in the refrigerator.

STRAIN & CHILL Pour the liquid into a pitcher, straining out the lemon peel. Stir in the lemon juice. Let this mixture get cold-cold-cold!

SERVE Serve over ice. Savor every sip!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per 1/2 Cup: 73 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 19g Carb; 0g Fiber; 18g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1.5 & PointsPlus 2 For slow lower-calorie sipping, mix a quarter cup of the lemonade with a cup of club soda.
Adapted from Seasons of Santa Fe, a birthday gift from the dear Gluten-Free Goddess herself, a cookbook which, I confess, at first I didn’t properly appreciate but now can’t get enough of! Thank you, Karina!

The Secret to Extra-Lemony Lemonade

Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade. It's extra lemony! (How? The zest infuses flavor into the sugar!) Recipe, tips, nutrition & Weight Watchers points @ KitchenParade.com.

For the most lemony lemonade ever tasted, infuse the sugar and water with aromatic oils from the lemon rinds.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Introducing "Summer Easy"
A Collection of Easy-Easy Summer Recipes

A special collection of easy summer recipes. Less cookin'. More livin'. That's the summer's motto at @ KitchenParade.com.

For days now, I've become obsessed with inspired by the idea of extra-simple recipes for summer. They're the easiest recipes ever, ones we may hardly think of as 'recipes,' really, you know, the ones where you tell your friends, "Just ...". So I'm going to spend the summer collecting these easy recipes for all of us to enjoy. I think it will be fun!

Readers, if you have a special recipe that's 'hardly' a recipe and is perfect for summer, will you share it? Just send me a quick recipes@kitchen-parade.com.

For more about the collection (and a few recipes that already qualify!) – see Easy Summer Recipes.

More Cold Drinks for Summer

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Beer & Ginger Ale Cold-Brewed Coffee Bloody Caesar (Canada's Bloody Mary)
~ more beverage recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Cucumber Lemonade ~
~ Jealous Marys ~
~ Parade Day Gin & Tonics ~
~ more Drink & Smoothie recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Looks so refreshing. And I'm glad to hear you enjoy the cookbook- one of my favorites. :-)

  2. Must be the season. We just made a pitcher of lemonade yesterday afternoon. I just make a simple syrup with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, then let that cool. Add 1 cup lemon juice (fresh!) and 4 cups cold water.

  3. Every year my family goes to the Minnesota State Fair and every year we get the lemonade there - and it's always delicious! I'm not going to be at the fair this year, so instead I'm going to try out your recipe (which sounds great)!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna