Here's a summertime favorite with a healthy twist. An easy homemade lemonade recipe with honey simple syrup and a splash of orange.
One of my favorite treats for hot summer days is the fresh-squeezed lemonade you get at local festivals. You know the lemonade stands where they squeeze the lemon juice while you wait, and shake it with superfine sugar and ice?
Well, this easy version is one of my favorite recipes you can make at home without refined sugar. Refreshing, healthy, and perfect for summer!
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How to make lemonade
This recipe starts with making honey simple syrup. Which is a fancy way of saying honey dissolved in hot water. This makes it easy to mix into the lemon juice. If you've ever tried to stir honey into a cold drink, you know it just stays together and sinks to the bottom of the glass.
I like to use a honey that complements the citrus flavors. Try orange blossom honey, or a berry honey like raspberry or blueberry, if you can find it. You can also use your favorite local raw honey.
You can also swap out the honey for maple syrup to make a vegan lemonade or use one of the low carb natural sweeteners, like stevia or monk fruit, for a keto version.
Squeezing the lemons goes pretty quickly with a handheld citrus juicer. I have a few different ones and this is the one I like best. You can have all the lemons juiced in the time it takes to heat the water.
Then all that's left to do is stir everything together and let it chill in the fridge.
Serve this simple lemonade in tall glasses over a full glass of ice—with a squeeze of orange to add an extra hint of citrusy sweetness. And I like to use paper straws (like these bamboo ones) or glass straws instead of plastic.
Add it to your summer meal plan and make your honey lemonade during your weekend meal prep session.
Now that you have the basic honey lemonade recipe down, let your creativity run wild with lemonade add-ins and flavor combinations. Here are a few to try:
- Add frozen fruit - this is a trick I use to keep drinks cold all summer long. Try frozen peaches or watermelon cubes.
- Add fresh fruit - strawberries are a classic combination for strawberry lemonade. Just muddle a few strawberries in the bottom of the glass and garnish with sliced strawberries.
- Add fresh herbs - lavender, rosemary, mint, basil - try different combinations with different types of honey or fruit juice for your own mocktail. A lemon wedge and fresh mint is a classic way to serve it.
- Make it a cocktail - vodka lemonade is a summer classic. I like Ciroc, a vodka distilled from grapes.
- Make popsicles - frozen popsicles are a summer essential and lemonade makes the perfect base for any type of fruit you want to add. (I use these popsicle molds.)
- Make lemonade ice cubes. Just pour into an ice cube tray and add to any drink to keep it cool without diluting. Try it in iced tea!
However you make it, this easy lemonade recipe with honey simple syrup is the perfect refreshing drink for hot days!
More cool summer drink recipes
- 3 cups filtered water divided
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 6 lemons
- ice for serving
- orange wedges for serving
- Heat 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and add the honey. Stir until the honey dissolves. Pour into a large pitcher and stir in remaining 2 cups of cold water and lemon juice.
- Chill and serve over ice with orange wedges or a lemon slice.