3 Fabulous Lemonade Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat

Life at Bella Terra
by Life at Bella Terra
6 cups
17 min

When ice water doesn’t quite quench your thirst, is there anything better than a tall glass of freshly made lemonade? Store bought or pre-made lemonade just doesn’t taste the same. Making it fresh, from scratch is easy and worth the minimal effort. Plain lemonade is great, but here are 3 different twists on regular lemonade that takes it over the top.

A refreshing glass of lemonade

Basic Lemonade

Simple, straightforward lemonade is always delicious, and there’s an easy way to remember how to make lemonade. All you need is one part of each, therefore you can make any quantity you like.

  • Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Water

To make the simple syrup, take equal parts of sugar and water and heat until the sugar is dissolved. For example, one cup of sugar and one cup of water equals about 1 1/3 cups of simple syrup.

Bowl of fresh lemons

If you want your simple syrup sweeter, you can use two parts sugar to one part water. I find it easiest to put the sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer it over a low temperature until dissolved.

There are many ways to bring additional flavor to your simple syrup by adding an herb to the mixture while it simmers.

Garnish with lemon and herb
Basil or Italian Lemonade

This recipe, Basil or Italian Lemonade is, without a doubt, the family favorite. By adding a bunch of fresh basil to the simple syrup, it adds a refreshing, unique taste to the lemonade. The basil flavor and fragrance is infused in the simple syrup.

Actually, you could add various things to any simple syrup~~ginger, lavender, mint, thyme, rosemary, geranium, lemon grass, lavender, or rose~~embellishing that flavor to your simple syrup. Don’t worry about making too much. This can be used for other beverages or cocktails to take the flavor up a notch.

Flavors to add to lemonde

Simple syrup can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. After the syrup cools, strain out the basil. Mix the lemon juice, water and basil simple syrup together. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon and sprig of basil.

Basil lemonade

~~Basil Lemonade Recipe~~

Strawberry Lemonade
Use fresh strawberries

My family’s 2nd place favorite, is Strawberry Lemonade. Place 2 quarts of fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree. You can also use frozen strawberries.

Puree and then remove the seeds

Strain the puree (I used a fine mesh sieve) and discard the seeds. Simply, mix the puree with the lemon juice, sugar and water and you have this beautiful, refreshing lemonade.

Fresh strawberry lemonade

Note: if you want to dissolve the sugar vs. the simple syrup method, take the 1 cup of sugar and dissolve it with 1 cup of water. When you add the remaining cold water, remember to deduct 1 cup from the 8 cup quantity.

Isn’t the color beautiful?

Cucumber Lemonade

Another refreshing version of lemonade is using cucumbers, which are plentiful this time of year. However, you will need a juicer (which we have but rarely use). I did try making this with a food processor, but it does not liquify the cucumbers. Or perhaps you can muddle the cucumber in the bottom of the glass and liquify it as best you can.

Cucumber Lemonade

Hopefully, these recipes will inspire you to make some fresh lemonade to enjoy in August! Happy Tuesday, my sweet friends!

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Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

Instead of serving plain lemonade, try this version with fresh strawberries! You will not be disappointed!

Servings 12 cups

  • 2 quarts Strawberries equals approx. 8 cups sliced;
  • 6 large lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 cups cold water

  • Place trimmed strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree. Strain the puree and discard the seeds.
  • Slice the lemons in half and squeeze each into a large measuring cup. Remove any seeds. You should yield approximately 1.5 cups of juice.
  • In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, sugar and strawberry puree. Stir in the cold water and serve over ice.

NotesIf you want to make a simple syrup to dissolve the sugar, add 1 cup of water to the 1 cup of sugar. Place in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then add only 7 cups of cold water for your last step.

Cucumber Lemonade

If you love fresh cucumbers, you will truly enjoy this recipe!

Servings 8 cups

  • 1 part simple syrup See recipe below
  • 1 part lemon juice for this recipe 2 cups freshly squeezed juice
  • 1 part water for this recipe 2 cups
  • 1 part cucumber juice 2 cucumbers juiced = 2.5 cups
Simple Syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water

  • Juice the cucumbers. Mix with the simple syrup, lemon juice and water. Serve over ice.
To make the simple syrup: Place sugar and water into a small saucepan. Over low heat simmer unti the sugar is dissolved. Cool.
3 Fabulous Lemonade Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat
Recipe details
  • 6  cups
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 2 Minutes Total time: 17 min
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  • 2 cups basil simple syrup recipe follows
  • 2 cups cold water could use sparkling water too
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice about 12 to 15 lemons
  • Garnish with lemon peel strips and fresh basil leaves
  • ice cubes
For the Basil Simple Syrup
  • 1 bunch fresh basil sprigs washed and stemmed
  • 1 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar

Mix the basil simple syrup, water, and lemon juice. Add the iced cubes
Pour into glasses with or without ice.
For Basil Simple Syrup
Bring basil, sugar and water in a medium saucepan, simmer stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cool, strain the simple syrup and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.
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