1 quart, serves 4 to 6
10 minutes prep, 5 minutes if making a Simple Syrup cooking, 15 minutes total

Real lemonade is the lemonade that sends a shiver down your back when you take that first sip. It’s a perfect balance of sweet, tart and cool. This recipe is based on the idea of one medium lemon per person. Adjustments are easily made depending on your love of sweetness. We like to make a simple syrup and keep it in our fridges during the summer months as it dissolves immediately in cool drinks, but any sweetener can step in — stevia, agave or even a big scoop from the sugar bowl.

Cook to Cook: To get the most juice from your lemons, roll them along the counter, pressing firmly with your palm to squish them a bit; or, as some Mexican pals do, zap them in a microwave for 10 seconds or so before you squeeze.

Holds in the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours, but best when enjoyed immediately.


  • 4 medium lemons, halved and juiced (about 1/2 to 2/3 cup juice)
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup, or other liquid sweetener such as stevia or agave
  • 1 quart cool water
  • Lemon slices for garnish (optional)


1. Combine the lemon juice, simple syrup and water in a large pitcher and stir well.

2. Pour over glasses filled with ice and garnish with a slice of fresh lemon.

From A Summertime Grilling Guide by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright © 2012 by American Public Media.