Hands down this is going to be THE recipe that you will keep coming back to this Summer. If you’re looking for the simplest and most refreshing drink you’ll ever make, my 3 ingredient traditional lemonade is exactly what you need. With just the right amount of zing to wake up your tastebuds, this truly is the epitome of summer. Perfect for those hot summer days when you need to quench your thirst!
Why I Made This
I adore summer and everything lemon so this drink is a firm favourite in our home. I literally call this summer in a glass as it does not disappoint! And the fact that my kids love it makes it a win-win.
Why You Need To Make This
If you’re looking for the perfect thirst-quenching drink for summer, this is it. Just 3 ingredients and a little bit of your time, and you’ll have the most wonderful pitcher of citrusy goodness.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Water, sugar and lemons. That’s it! It really doesn’t get any easier than that. To make traditional lemonade, there are no substitutions but check out my handy FAQ for other flavour combinations.
How to make 3 Ingredient Traditional Lemonade
I like to use a simple 1:1:1 ratio for traditional lemonade. And while I normally weigh out my ingredients for my recipes, this one uses measuring cups as it’s much quicker. Before making our lemonade, you will need to gather a few supplies. A small saucepan, a spoon, a large pitcher or mason jar, and something to juice the lemons. More on that later.
Let’s start by making the simple sugar syrup. This is key to a great lemonade as it ensures that there are no granules of sugar in the lemonade. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white sugar to a small saucepan.
Stir together and warm over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. This usually occurs at the simmering point when small bubbles can be seen forming in the saucepan.
I always check the syrup by adding some of it onto a spoon and making sure that it runs clear. Once you’ve reached this stage, remove the pan from the heat. And that’s it for our syrup. Nice and easy.
Top tip: you can use this syrup on cakes and cupcakes if you’ve accidentally overbaked them to moisten them up again. Simply brush on the top of the cake once the cake is removed from the oven.
How to Juice a Lemon
My top tip to maximize the amount of juice you get from your lemons is to give them a firm roll on the counter first to release the juice. This helps to break down the pulp inside the lemons and to let the juice flow easier.
Once the tap is inside the lemon, give it a good squeeze to remove the juice. I love this no-mess method!
If you prefer to use a more traditional lemon juicer, cut your lemons in half and squeeze the lemon onto the juicer. You will need to clean it out every so often as the seeds and pulp will clog it up.
I ended up needing 5 small lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice. You may need more or fewer lemons depending on their size. And of course, if you prefer a really sour lemonade, add more lemon juice or a couple of slices of lemon to the lemonade. Add the lemon juice to the simple syrup.
To finish the lemonade, transfer the juice/syrup mix to a pitcher or extra large mason jar and top up with water. I added 3 cups as this is the right level of dilution for us but you can adjust this depending on your taste preference.
Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes then serve.
Literally, this is Summer in a glass and I hope you’ll enjoy making this.
This recipe yields 6 cups of traditional lemonade. You can add more water as required.
Absolutely. Let your imagination run wild with this one. You can add other fruit juices and slices of fresh fruit to jazz up the lemonade. Our favourite is to add some freshly crushed strawberries and serve over ice.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. I seriously challenge you to make it last that long though! It’s usually gone within a day in our home.
You can stir in some more sugar to the lemonade to sweeten it up or even add fresh fruit to lighten the sourness. And of course, if it’s too sweet, add a little more lemon juice to it.
Looking for some treats to serve with your lemonade?
How about some strawberry lemonade cookies to serve on the side? This is a small batch recipe which makes 16 cookies. Just 6 ingredients and 20 minutes from prep to plate. Perfect to make while your lemonade chills in the fridge.
Get the recipe here: strawberry lemonade cookies
3 Ingredient Traditional Lemonade
- Lemon Juicer (see note)
- 1 Cup Water (240 ml)
- 1 Cup White Sugar (240 grams)
- 1 Cup Lemon Juice (240 ml – I used 5 small lemons)
- Additional water to dilute
- Gather all of your ingredients and supplies.
To Make the Sugar Syrup
- Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white sugar to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until simmering and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. The syrup should be clear with no granules of sugar remaining.
To Make the Lemonade
- Juice the lemons until you have 1 cup of lemon juice then add to the sugar syrup. Stir together to combine.
- Pour the lemon juice/syrup into the juice pitcher. Add 3-4 cups of water, depending on taste.
- Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve as is or over ice. Perfect with a slice of lemon or other fresh fruit added to it.
- This recipe makes 6 cups of traditional lemonade.
- I recommend rolling your lemons firmly on the counter to help release the juice from the pulp. Check out this handy lemon juice tap to maximize the amount of juice you get from your lemons (see full post for more details).
- If it is too sour for you, add in some more sugar or a few slices of fruit.
- Too sweet? Stir in some extra lemon juice.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- See full recipe post for more flavour ideas and my strawberry lemonade cookies recipe.
- Nutritional information is based on 0.5 cup per serving with approximately 12 servings per recipe. Nutrition information is calculated based on the ingredients in this recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.