This Orange Lemonade is the perfect warmer weather drink. It's refreshing, thirst quenching, and both tangy and sweet from the combination of fresh lemon juice and fresh orange juice. You'll be making it on repeat all summer long.
Not only is this orange lemonade completely delicious, but it's also only made with 4 ingredients. That's way fewer than the ones you can buy in the store 🙂
- Lemons: fresh lemons are the only way to go when you make fresh lemonade. To pick a juicy lemon look for one that is vibrant in color and firm with a slight give. If it's too firm you'll likely have a hard time getting juice out of it. If you have meyer lemons available to you, get those!
- Oranges: cara cara oranges are great for this - robust in flavor, perfectly sweet, and very juicy. Similar to lemons, you want ones that are vibrant in color and have very a little give.
- Granulated sugar: sugar gets combined with water to make a simple syrup to sweeten up the orange lemonade a little bit.
- Water: water is for both the simple syrup and also to make the base of the lemonade in combination with the fresh citrus juices.
- Heat sugar and water until the water is dissolved to make the simple syrup.
- Combine lemon juice, orange juice, water, and cooled simple syrup. Stir to combine.
- Serve over ice.
Step by step:
1. Make the simple syrup. Mix together the water and sugar in a pot and warm over medium low heat until the water is dissolved. Take it off the heat to cool fully.
2. Juice the citrus. Juice the lemons and oranges.
3. Mix it all together. In a large pitcher combine the fresh squeezed lemon and orange juices, cooled simple syrup, and water. Stir to combine. Add ice right before serving.
Tips and tricks
While this homemade orange lemonade is incredibly easy to make, below are some tips to help!
- Make sure the simple syrup cools before you add it if you're serving immediately. You don't want to serve warm lemonade! If you are serving at a later date, slightly water simple syrup is fine - just make sure it's not too hot that you'd crack the pitcher from the heat.
- Add flavor to your simple syrup – adding ingredients like mint, vanilla, or lavender would be delicious. Add it to the pot when you first mix together the sugar and water.
- Go sugar free if you like your lemonade very tart or just want to skip the sweetener, go for it! I do recommend a HINT of sweetener if you can swing it though.
- Use FRESH lemon and orange juice. This is truly the only way to make homemade lemonade. If you don't have fresh juice, honestly you'd be better off buying lemonade from the store!
- To get the most juice out of your citrus, firmly roll each lemon and orange on a flat surface. This helps the juices redistribute and loosen up.
- Only add ice right before you serve – if you add the ice too soon it'll melt and water-down the orange lemonade.
- Use flat or sparkling water – this is really based on preference!
- Make it an adult beverage/cocktail by adding some liquor! Vodka or bourbon would be delicious.
- Garnish with extra slices of lemons or oranges, and a few sprigs of mint if you have.
Fun fact: in Gloucestershire, England, an Orange Lemonade is called a Henry!
Simple syrup alternatives
If you love the sweetness of lemonade but don't want to use a simple syrup, below are some great alternatives.
- Agave: generally agave comes in light, amber, and dark. Light will have the least amount of flavor (if any at all), so that's the one you'd want to use here.
- Maple syrup: a bit thinner and more mild than honey. You can add this right into the orange lemonade as a 1 for 1 to the simple syrup.
- Honey syrup: warm the honey (use the same amount of honey as you would sugar) in a pot with water. This makes a honey sugar and helps the honey disburse throughout the lemonade.
- Stevia: add to taste!
Simple syrup will last for one month in the fridge, so double the batch and save half for a second batch of orange lemonade!
Fresh orange lemonade is best in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Yes! You can make the orange lemonade entirely and keep it in the fridge until needed, and then just add the ice before you serve.
Yes! Both are high in vitamin C, and lemons have great antibacterial properties and can aid in digestion. More here.
Close, but not quite. Orange lemonade has more lemon juice than orange juice, whereas orangeade has more orange juice than lemon juice.
Other citrus-based recipes you'll love
Homemade Orange Lemonade
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 ¾ cups water separated
- ¾ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice roughly 6 lemons
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice roughly 6 oranges
- Make simple syrup – mix together ¾ cup water and the sugar in a pot. Warm over medium low heat until the sugar is dissolved into the water. Take it off the heat to cool fully.
- Juice the lemons and oranges.
- In a large pitcher combine the fresh squeezed lemon and orange juices, cooled simple syrup, and remaining 4 cups of water. Stir to combine. Add ice right before serving.