This tangy frozen lemonade concentrate recipe uses simple syrup, fresh lemons & a little bit of lime (optional). Made lovingly from fresh fruits & tastes like a burst of sunshine in a cup! A fun alternative to iced tea and a great way to sneak in some extra nutrients while enjoying a refreshing drink!
In short, frozen lemonade concentrate is a very strong version of lemonade. You simply add a custom amount of water (or other liquids) to it and you've got yourself a gorgeous drink made with almost zero effort.
Keep in mind that lemonade concentrate is NOT the same as lemon concentrate. The latter is EVEN stronger - think of it as the lemon version of almond or orange essence where you only need a few drops for a big pop of flavor.
💌 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The perfect cool-me-down treat on a hot day
- Packed with vitamin C
- 3 simple ingredients
- No artificial flavors
- Customize the amount of sugar to taste
- No fancy tools or ingredients needed
- Can be made into pink lemonade! (see tips below)
Whenever you crave fresh homemade lemonade, you can simply grab a cube from the freezer, add water or sparkling water, and your refreshment is ready.
You'll need just 3 ingredients (plus water) for this homemade lemonade concentrate.
Lemons: You can use any type of lemon. For best results, make sure to use both the lemon zest and the freshly squeezed lemon juice as described in the recipe.
Sugar: Use either caster, fine, superfine, or granulated sugar. If you use coconut or brown sugar the end result will have a brownish hue to it.
Lime: This is optional but highly recommended! Limes add another flavor dimension to create a fuller flavor and balance out the strength of lemons.
Tip - Always wash the lemons under cold running water and dry them completely before using.
This is just a quick visual overview. For detailed instructions & exact measurements see the recipe card at the bottom.
1 - First, peel/zest two lemons. Set the zest aside for later.
2 - Slice the lemons & lime in half and squeeze out the juice (2 cups).
3 & 4 - Add sugar, water & lemon peel/zest to a medium-sized pot. Heat up on medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 5 minutes).
5 & 6 - Turn off the heat. Let it cool down a little (about 5 minutes) and then pour in the fresh lemon juice.
7 & 8 - Lastly, pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray*. Cover with a lid and place in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
Hint: I like larger blocks so I use a big ice cube tray but you can use a smaller one too.
*If you don't have an ice cube tray, you can simply use ziplock bags instead. Simply fill them with the concentrate, close them properly, and then freeze them.
💡 Top Tips
- Press & roll
To make squeezing the lemon easier, press it down on a cutting board and use an open palm to roll it up and down the board. This relaxes the juices a little and makes your job of squeezing the juice much easier.
- Let it cool.
To preserve the nutritional benefits of freshly squeezed lemon juice, let the sugar syrup cool down at room temperature before adding the lemon juice. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat (Source: Medical News Today).
- Drink through a straw
This can help protect your teeth (Source: Oasis Dental Studio).
Extra tip - Add a desired amount of strawberry or raspberry juice to turn this into pink lemonade!
When you're ready to serve this drink, add a custom amount of still or sparkling water.
Apart from lemonade, you can use it in cocktails, mocktails, cordials, smoothies, or even popsicles, cakes & other bakes (let it thaw first).
I like to use a ratio of 2.5 to 1 (for example 2.5 cups of water to 1 cup of frozen lemonade concentrate).
However, I invite you to adjust this to taste. You might prefer it stronger or less strong.
You can serve it with or without extra ice cubes.
If serving it with ice cubes remember that they will eventually melt and thus dilute the drink. You might want to add less water in this case.
Decorate with a few lemon slices or wedges & give it a good stir before drinking. You can also throw in some extra pieces of fruit for decoration, for example, some fresh blueberries or strawberries.
🍍 Substitutions & Add-ons
Vanilla extract is a great addition, especially if you're using vanilla bean paste which will add beautiful black specks to your drink.
You can also add a little pineapple juice - it pairs well with the lemon flavor.
To make this into a limeade concentrate simply swap out lemons for limes.
- A medium-sized pan
- Zester or grater
- Lemon juicer (optional)
- Ice cubes tray (ideally with a lid)
Yes, for a sugar-free version use stevia instead of sugar. Remember that you'll need MUCH less stevia (about 1 teaspoon for every cup of sugar). Remember that stevia has a slight aftertaste that's different from sugar so the end result won't be exactly the same as the original recipe.
If you're not freezing this concentrate you can transfer it to an airtight container (like mason jars) and store it in the fridge for about a week.
For a frozen version, pour it into an ice cube tray or store it in an airtight and freezer-friendly container. It keeps for at least 6 months.
I find that an ice cube tray works best unless you're planning on hosting a big group of people and need a larger serving.
Keep in mind that ice cube trays with a plastic/silicone lid work best.
Open ice cube trays can dry out the drink or cause an extra layer of water to freeze over the lemonade.
🥤 More Fruit Drinks
If you enjoy homemade fruity drinks try out my:
Tried this homemade frozen lemonade recipe? If you made this recipe it would mean a LOT to me if you could leave a comment & star rating below - seeing your comments always makes my day!
Got any questions? Simply leave a question below.
Easy Homemade Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
- A medium-sized pan
- A sieve
- Zester or grater
- Lemon juicer (optional)
- Ice cubes tray or ziplock bags
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice + lemon zest about 10-12 lemons
- 1 cup sugar white, granulated, superfine, etc
- 1 cup water
- ½ lime juice only
- First, peel/zest two lemons. Set the zest aside for later.
- Slice all the lemons & lime in half and squeeze out the juice.
- Add sugar, water & lemon peel/zest to a medium-sized pot. Heat on medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 5 minutes).
- Turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool down a little (about 5 minutes) and then pour in the fresh lemon juice that you squeezed earlier.
- Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any bits.
- Lastly, carefully pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray*. Cover with a lid and place in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information above is calculated automatically. The author of this post cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of this data.
Your recipe looks great! I plan to use it for a recipe that calls for a can of concentrate. I'm wondering if this is more or less concentrated than the cans, or would you expect to use about the same amount (the standard cans are 12 oz I believe)
Hiya Jessica! I would say it's a little less concentrated than the cans. If you use more lemons but keep the amount of sugar & water the same, you can make it more concentrated. Hope this helps and good luck with your recipe, let me know how it turns out!