Simple syrup is just granulated sugar and water that is combined together over heat until the sugar melts and becomes syrupy. It is used to flavor cocktails, lemonade, sorbets, frosting, candies and more.
To make a simple syrup, combine equal parts granulated sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Let cool and either use immediately or store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Simple syrup will keep indefinitely.
There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than an ice cold, freshly squeezed lemonade. This recipe is top notch and has been my favorite for years. In fact, it’s so good that I literally cannot drink store bought lemonades anymore. Prepackaged lemonades are overly tart (almost bitter) and very syrupy which is not refreshing at all. This version is so light and crisp and has the perfect balance of lemons and sugar. It also makes a nice big batch so if you don’t have a good sized pitcher, feel free to halve the recipe.
To get the most juice from your lemons make sure they are ripe and give them a nice firm roll on the counter before cutting. To release even more juice, microwave the lemons for 10-20 seconds, let cool for a minute, and then cut. Be sure to remove any pits that fall into the lemon juice before mixing with the other lemonade ingredients.
For the simple syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
For the lemonade
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 10-12 lemons depending on size)
- 1 gallon cold water
Make the simple syrup by bringing 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil, lower the heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. About 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Juice enough lemons to make 2 cups of fresh lemon juice. Pour the lemon juice into a large pitcher then add a gallon of cold water and the cooled simple syrup. Stir until combined. Serve over ice.