Lemonade Concentrate/Syrup

The cup was FULL of lemonade but it was SO delicious that I drank it & I couldn't refill it because all the lemonade was gone ~ it was a full-on lemonade guzzling frenzy as the 6 of us vied for the pitcher of liquid sunshine

The sun is shining, the weather is hot, and you know what that means? I am a happy girl – a VERY happy girl! Oh and it’s almost summertime. And, you know what summertime means? Time to enjoy good ‘ol fashioned lemonade. If you’ve read my About Me or my recent post about Baking Illustrated then you are familiar with a bakery that is dear to my heart, Ettore’s; the place that I became an expert lemonade maker & orange juice squeezer. For years I used the recipe that I made daily at the bakery until recently when I happened up the recipe I’ll be sharing below. It’s basically the same, but it gives measurements for making individual glasses, pitchers, or party size amounts of lemonade. Perfect for our family of 6. I froze the additional pure lemon juice, but I’m thinking that next time I may just double the “syrup” recipe below and freeze that making my own lemonade concentrate~(I always come up with great ideas after-the-fact, sheesh!) This is also an easy recipe to make with children. You can read about my adventures with my 2 boys (ages 7 & 9) in Picking Oranges & Lemons.

Update (7/3/2011): based on “rough” calculations – the amount of sugar consumed per 120z cup (10 oz liquid served over 2 oz. ice) equates to about 1 1/2 teaspoons. Less than most people add to a 6oz cup of coffee.

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate/Syrup


  • 3 cups sugar (update: 8/7/11… you could substitute 1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups honey for the sugar – it will taste like honey lemonade.)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon grated lemon peel


  • Lemonade Concentrate/Syrup
  • Add sugar to boiling water; stir until dissolved. Add Peel. Cool. *
  • Add lemon juice and mix well. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. *
  • Lemonade:
  • For 1 serving ~ combine 1/3 cup syrup and 3/4 cup cold water in a glass; stir well. (Add ice to your liking, if it’s too syrupy tasting.)
  • To make 2 quarts ~  combine 2 1/3 cups syrup and 5 1/4 cups cold water in a 2-qt. pitcher; stir well. (Add ice to your liking if it’s too syrupy tasting.)
  • To fill a punch bowl ~ combine all the syrup (approx. 5 1/2 cups) with 12-13 cups of water. (less water allows it to be served with ice & not become diluted). —note: I would go by taste on this one. Start with 12 cups of water & taste it; add more water/ice to your liking. Ideally you could add 13 cups of water, remove & then freeze part of that mixture into a “lemonade ice ring”. Float the ring in the punch bowl = ice cold lemonade without it becoming diluted.
** I “cheated” and added the lemon juice to the hot sugar/water (simple syrup) mixture. Then I added ice & water and my family drank it immediately… sometimes my family is not patient!
#1.  To make flavored lemonade – for example strawberry & blueberry would be a fun addition to a 4th of July or other Red, White, & Blue event. Cherry would by yummy for Christmas and/or Valentines – gosh, Watermelon or Raspberry, too. Threre sure are alot of  “red fruits”; Orange for Halloween. Mint lemonade sounds yummy for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll be making ALL of these when the time comes.
#2 Instead of water… add sparkling water. I don’t know about you, but I sure do enjoy “bubbly” drinks ❤ – Cheers ~

Source: adapted from Taste of Home website



  1. On my list is to make a recipe for lemonade that’s good like the one from McDonald’s but GOOD FOR YOU. 🙂 The glass in the picture above is so cute! I want it. lol Where are they from?

    • I’m going to purchase some local honey and make the lemonade concentrate with the honey soon. NOTE: I modified the recipe to include the directions/measurements for the honey “after” I posted it, so the recipe on the blog now includes the “made with honey” version. In my opinion, the key to lemonade is the flavor of the lemons & drinking it ICE cold; I would think that the honey will add to the dimension of the flavor.
      The glass is from Mexico; my husband and I drove around the entire state of Colima in 1 day and purchased 3 in a little shop during our adventure (in case 1 broke, which it did the first time I used it *double sigh). I wish we would have purchased more, but I was unsure how to transport the glasses home in my luggage on a plane – without them breaking. I love this glass, well, as much as you can love a glass ❤

    • I think that you may have mis-read? The concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week. Then, you can use the concentrate to make glasses/pitchers of fresh lemonade throughout the week or so.
      I haven’t tested the “freezer” length yet… however, based on typical freezer guideline, I would say 6 months. The problem with the freezer is – the “fresh-squeezed” flavor will deteriorate over time. I hope this helps 🙂

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