Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade

Some of you may know that my father-in-law owns a bagel deli in Seattle. With that information, some of you who know Sara from her formative years may be reading this and are just figuring out who I am (not a “who I am” in an “Oh, I’m soooo famous” sense but “who I am” like, “Ohhhh, Kate’s married to Seth’s brother.”) Anyway.

One of my favorite things about The Bagel Deli is the fresh-squeezed lemonade. I worked there the summer after my husband and I got married and I can attest to its fresh-sqeezedness because I made those lemonades myself! I got so addicted (and spoiled) to fresh-squeezed lemonade that summer that I became something of a lemonade snob. If it’s not straight from the lemon, I don’t want it.

This isn’t the Bagel Deli’s recipe because, alas, I don’t have a soda fountain that keeps sugar water mixed at all times, but when I made this recipe, it tasted remarkably close (unless I add mint). One thing I like about making my own lemonade is that I can adjust the sweetness. Just like any fruit, lemons can vary in their tartness, so I like that I can tweak the sweetness and concentration according to my mood.


One other thing–the mint isn’t necessary, and it can be expensive if you don’t have your own herb garden (and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t; unlike Sara, who apparently is bad at nothing, I kill plants just by thinking about them.) It’s good, and it adds a unique flavor, but sometimes, all you want is a simple, good old-fashioned lemonade and if that’s what you’re after, don’t feel guilty for leaving the mint out. People will probably be so impressed that you’re squeezing your own lemonade that they won’t think any less of you for a minty absence.


So who’s ready for warmer weather??


  1. I think this post should always stay right at the top of this section because it matches our blog design so well!

    I didn’t know you put lime in it too, I’m going to have to make it- it looks so good!

    And here in Idaho we keep getting teased with warm weather; I’m hoping one of these days it will actually stick around for good.

  2. oooh, and while we’re on the subject of super secret recipes, how about the Bagel Deli’s garlic cream cheese?? C’mon Teeny, I know you’re reading this!

  3. I’m right there with ya on being a lemon(ade) snob! My in-laws froze a ton of strawberries and blackberries from their garden last year. I take a bag of frozen berries,puree it and add it to the fresh lemonade. Mmm, strawberry lemonade is my ABSOLUTE FAV!

  4. FYI-I judge a deli on how good it is by their lemonade…yeah I am a snob!

    I flipped my recipe and did it with limes, pureed the berries and had a choice of blackberry or strawberry lemonade or limeade. Everyone chose a different mix and they were all great!

  5. After a weekend teaser of 65 degrees (woohoo!) it is snowing again here 🙁

    I am so excited for summer and I am definitely going to try this. I have never thought of adding lime juice… what a GREAT idea!

  6. OK, yeah – I just TOTALLY had a “Oh, that’s who she is!” moment. Seriously – you’ve got to write to me. I think I might have taken photos at your wedding. Which brother did you marry??! LOL

  7. I too love the lemonade at the deli. Auntie Anne’s is my other favorite. If I ever remember to buy lemons I’ll definitely have to make this. I wish spring would hurrry up and get here!

  8. Mmmmm! This recipe looks really good. Here in KS we are having wacky spring weather (like usual).

    I would also looooove the recipe of the super secret garlic cream cheese! That sounds awesome! Of course, it has garlic in it so you can’t really go wrong. You should have a garlic week! Followed by a mint week!

  9. Sounds great. It reminds me of the Italian lemonade recipe from the food network site (Giada’s, I think). It calls for a simple syrup with basil leaves. This sounds very refreshing too.

  10. We leave the mint out but this is hands down the best lemonade we've ever had! I had no reamer/juicer the first time I made it and I literally squeezed the lemons and lime by hand for an hour and it was still worth the effort! 🙂

  11. Yes, yes – I'm a bit late, but I'm a newcomer, and now a HUGE fan. I just made this lemonade for the second time…and it's DELISH!

    I have to be honest, I had never made homemade lemonade before, because to me it was never worth the effort. But knowing that my husband LOVES lemonade, I thought I'd make it special for him. Now I am hooked. Thanks for posting this!

  12. I made this to go with the Pete's lasagna recipe from this site for Father's day. Everyone loved it. I added in the strawberry sauce from this site, too. I hosted a large dinner for a group of women on Monday and had enough leftover to serve with dinner. It was a huge hit. I LOVE the strawberry sauce added into it. I used to almost exclusively get my internet recipes from the Pioneer Woman, but I'm finding myself using a lot more of your recipes. Thanks so much. They've all been wonderful!

  13. I made this for a family reunion this weekend and I cannot get over how INCREDIBLE it was! I am a huge lemonade fan and this was probably the best I've ever had! And I made it – which was more exciting. My husband even requested it on more occasion if lemons are a good price at the market! Thanks!

  14. After my 5 yr old saw Special Agent Oso making lemonade, he has been asking for some lemons. We finally brought some home with our Bountiful Basket and I put him to work with the lemons. Squeeze, Twist and Push…his fun lemon song. We LOVE your recipe. I am savoring a glass now, nothing wrong with lemonade in December. Just wanted to say thanks for another awesome recipe!
    Roosevelt, Utah

  15. YUM!!! Made this this weekend for a BBQ get together. This was the first time I had ever tasted fresh squeezed lemonade (well except for hot dog on a stick, but that doesn’t count because it was not made with love). I must say, you set the bar pretty high. The kids LOVED it and the adults too, I even caught my husband mixing it with vodka (shame, shame!) Thanks for the great recipe ladies!

  16. Hi! Where have you been all my life? or more appropriately….where have I been? This is the BEST blog!!! I am making this strawberry lemonade for my family today for mother’s day and wondering if you have ever frozen the sugar syrup and strawberry puree? I bought TONS of lemons and TONS of strawberries and thinking I would make a bunch and freeze. Just thought I would ask the experts.


    1. Hey Jaisey- The strawberry sauce freezes great, and I’ve never frozen simple syrup, but I’m sure that freezes just fine too. Glad you found us!

  17. Well I have to say I am sort of a skeptic when it comes to recipes. They always sound so good and are just ok once I make them. I decided to try and make your lemonade and was pleasantly surprised. I love it! I mean love love love it! My husband did too and he is super picky. Thank you so much for this recipe. It will definantly become a regular at our house 🙂

  18. There aren’t very many comments here….there need to be more. This is THE BEST lemonade I’ve ever had! It’s delicious!! And with the warmer weather here I am CRAVING it! Sooooo GOOD!! (also good with a little vodka splashed in ;o)

  19. AMAZING lemonade!! I live all the way out in Sunny South Africa, so this is appropriate all year round, and boy am I thrilled about that!!

    I doubled up the recipe and made it for a family lunch, there wasn’t a dry glass in the house!! Of course, it’s easier now I bought myself a citrus juicer. Juicing a dozen (or more) lemons the old-fashioned way is exhausting!

    Huge fan of this blog, thanks for the amazing recipes!!!

  20. I know this post was written three years ago, but in looking for a recipe for my daughter’s “Lemonade Day” I found this one (I’m already a big fan. Big fan.). Well, we made 5 gallons of lemonade (got a little carried away buying lemons) and my daughter earned $60! (She’s almost 5, by the way.) It was FA-HAH-HABULOUS lemonade and I’m so excited to freeze the leftover stuff (and keep a little out to have tonight-boozed up a bit. Thanks for ANOTHER great recipe-you two never fail to come through!

  21. Mmmm… Will be making this. Mouth watering just reading about it. I’m a snob about my lemonade too which is why I rarely ever drink it. You’ve inspired me to make my own though, and with this hot weather it will be welcome and loved I assure you! Thanks again! And beautiful photography BTW!

  22. Hi girls, I am OBSESSED with your cookbooks and finally made this lemonaid from the first one, but I am wondering how long do you think it is good for in the fridge? Thanks!

    1. Um, until it doesn’t taste good anymore? haha, I’m really not sure- mine never lasts long enough to find out! Definitely a few days though 🙂

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