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Make a Pitcher of Old Fashioned Lemonade

Lemonade in pitcher with glass of lemonade

Lemonade is one of those iconic drinks of summer. Who doesn't remember cooling off on a hot summer's day with an ice-cold glass of lemonade? While it's convenient to make in its frozen or powdered form, neither of those are nearly as good as the real homemade deal. It's a little more effort than mixing up a can of concentrate, but it's worth it!

The secret to amazing lemonade is to use a simple syrup to dissolve the sugar thoroughly. You'll also add fresh lemon zest — the oil from citrus rind really boosts the flavor. This is guaranteed to become one of your summer staples, and both kids and adults love it (hint: use it as a mixer for cool and refreshing cocktails for that 4th of July party).

lemonade ingredients and tools


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from 7–10 lemons)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • Ice
  • Sliced lemon for garnish


Thouroughly wash one of your lemons and grate the zest with a microplane or other grater into a small saucepan. (Since you don't want any pesticides or other residues in your lemonade, it's best to use an organic lemon.) Add sugar and 2 cups water to the saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Squeezing lemons for lemonade

Squeeze lemons with a citrus juicer to get 1 cup of juice. Don't even think about using that pre-squeezed juice that comes in the little plastic lemons at the grocery store. Just don't.

Pour lemon juice and remaining 6 cups water into a 2-quart or larger pitcher, then add simple syrup. Stir to combine thoroughly. Pour over ice in tall glasses, garnishing with lemon slices if desired.

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