If you love fresh lemonade on a hot summer day, this recipe is for you! This delicious homemade lemonade concentrate is made from two simple ingredients, lemon juice, and sugar!

I broke this recipe into two days since if you don’t have an automatic citrus juicer like me, juicing 12 lbs of lemons by hand with a vintage glass juicer can be hard work! I just poured the lemon juice into an airtight container in the fridge and continued the heating and canning process the next day!

This canned lemonade concentrate is the perfect homemade gift for friends and family. Download my lemonade concentrate labels to make your jars gift-ready!

homemade lemonade concentrate lined up on table with gift tags and scissors

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate Ingredients

  • 12 lbs of fresh lemons (12 cups of fresh lemon juice)
  • 12 cups of granulated sugar

Equipment Needed

Water Bath Canning Kit

Everything you need to start water bath canning is in this kit!

Make This Homemade Lemonade Concentrate Recipe

  1. Juice all of your lemons and transfer the juice to a large bowl with a spout (I love this one here)
  2. If you plan on canning your lemonade mix start step one on how to water-bath can this recipe below.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine equal parts lemon juice and sugar. This recipe should get you 12 cups of lemon juice, so add in 12 cups of sugar. You can reduce the amount of sugar if you don’t want as much as recommended.
  4. Let the sugar dissolve in the lemon juice for 10 minutes, but ensure it doesn’t come to a boil. Your lemon simple syrup should reach 190°F.
  5. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or preserve by either canning or freezing. (instructions below).

How to Water Bath Can This Recipe

  1. In a large water bath canner, bring water to boil and carefully place empty pint mason jars on the rack to sterilize.
  2. Heat your seals in a smaller saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Ladle the hot but not boiling lemonade mixture into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal with 2-part canning lids.
  4. Half pints, pints, and quarts are processed for 10 minutes in a water bath canner with the water 1-2 inches above the lids (below 1,000 feet elevation) 
  5. Remove jars from the canner and place them upright on a towel to cool completely. After the jars cool, check for successful seals. (If the lid springs back, the lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
  6. Remove the rims and check for a proper seal again.
  7. Store in a cool dark room for up to 6 months.

How to Freeze Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

  1. Label small ziplock bags with the date.
  2. Ladle the sugar concentration into the freezer bag 3-4 times.
  3. Lay on a flat surface in the freezer and let harden completely before stacking your freezer bags.
  4. Frozen lemonade concentrate will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Can You Use Bottled Lemon Juice for Homemade Lemonade Concentrate?

Fresh lemon juice is preferred when making homemade lemonade concentrate. Bottled lemon juice doesn’t have the same taste as fresh homemade lemonade concentrate. It is a little sourer and doesn’t taste as good in my opinion.

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How to Turn Lemonade Concentrate Into Lemonade

To turn your own homemade lemonade concentrate into fresh fruit juice, use 1 cup of juice and 3 cups of water. If you are using canned lemonade concentrate I suggest using cold water.

Serve your delicious homemade lemonade to guests with lemon slices along with ice cubes and fresh mint leaves. When the mood strikes and you are looking for something a little bubby, substitute the water for club soda for a sparkling lemonade alternative.

Tips for Making Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

  • Let your lemons become at room temperature before juicing. You will be able to extract more juice from them.
  • Roll each lemon on your counter with pressure, this will loosen the juice from the lemon resulting in even more juice.
  • Use club soda as a bubbly alternative to water.
  • To reduce the amount of pulp in the lemonade concentrate, strain the lemon juice in a mesh strainer before heating.

How to Use Leftover Lemon Peels?

You can make homemade lemon vinegar all-purpose cleaner with the leftover lemon peels instead of tossing them!

Other Preserving & Canning Recipes

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