Skip to content

RECIPE: Say hello to BA’s Best Lemonade

This homemade lemonade recipe shouldn’t be relegated to the kids’ table—it’s tart, sweet, and intensely refreshing on a hot day

Bookmark article to read later

By Bon Appetit US | December 21, 2022 | Recipes

Start by making a simple syrup infused with lemon zest. To get large pieces with as little pith (the bitter white part) as possible, use a sharp vegetable peeler and make sure your lemons and hands are completely dry so your grip is firm. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is a must, so grab a juicer. To keep the tang and sweet ratios in check, add ice cubes straight to the glasses, not the pitcher, so the drink isn’t diluted.

While this fresh lemonade needs no embellishments, it’s also a versatile base for a host of summer drink recipes. Try adding two cups of frozen or fresh fruit like raspberries or peaches and an herb garnish. If you prefer a bit of sparkle, swap out half of the water in the base with club soda or seltzer. For a full-blown spritz, use only the sparkling water. Spices like sumac and star anise can also be added to the syrup-making process for something more complex. And mixing half-and-half with brewed black tea quickly turns it into an Arnold Palmer


½ cup sugar

3 lemons, zest removed in wide strips

¾ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)

Lemon slices (for serving)


Bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Let cool 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and let sit 30 minutes to steep.

Strain lemon syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher; discard zest. Add lemon juice and 3 cups water and stir to combine.

Serve lemonade over ice garnished with lemon slices.

Recipe written by Rick Martinez

This article originally appeared on Bon Appetit