This easy Homemade Limeade recipe is tart, sweet, and super simple to make with only three ingredients — water, sugar, and lime juice. It’s the perfect refreshing beverage for hot days spent outside in the sunshine!
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What Is Limeade?
Limeade is lemonade’s green and, unfortunately, less popular counterpart. It just feels like the official drink of summer! And it’s a cinch to make. Just like my Old Fashioned Lemonade recipe, it only requires 3 ingredients — water, sugar, and lime juice — and a little patience. The hardest part is waiting for the simple syrup to cool before mixing up this tart, sweet, and tangy beverage.
I have used both key limes and regular limes in my limeade. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that regular limes work better than key limes since the latter can be quite tart and sometimes bitter (which is why they work so well in a sweet dish like key lime pie).
Have fun with the garnishes! I like to top my limeade with fresh lime slices, but you could also use blueberries, any citrus wedge, basil, or some sparkling water to make it fizzy.
This limeade is the perfect cold drink for a hot summer day! And it’s incredibly versatile. Want to make it alcoholic? Just add your preferred light liquor, Prosecco, or champagne. Or take this alcohol-free version up a notch with some fresh berries, fresh herbs like basil or rosemary, a splash of sparkling water or lime-flavored soda, and a sugared rim. Heaven!
Ingredients for Easy Limeade
- Fresh squeezed lime juice: This is so important! Don’t reach for the pre-made bottled lime juice from the store!
- Filtered water + Granulated Sugar: Are added to balance out the tartness of the limes and add sweetness. These two ingredients are what make the simple syrup! I recommend adding the simple syrup to taste incase you want your limeade on the tarter / less sweet side.
How To Make the Best (and Easiest) Homemade Limeade Recipe
Make the Simple Syrup: Combine sugar and water in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat. (Ratio is 1:1.) Boil until the sugar has completely dissolved and stir constantly (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, and place in the fridge until cool (or allow to cool at room temperature).
Mix Everything Together: Combine the simple syrup, water, and lime juice in a pitcher. Stir to combine, and fill with ice. That’s it! Pour up, garnish as desired, and enjoy!
Tip! Take your simple syrup up a notch by infusing it with lime peel or fresh herbs like basil, mint, or rosemary. This is next level good!
How to get the most juice from a lime
- Roll the lime on the kitchen counter with the palm of your hand to help release the juices. The average lime has about 2 tablespoons of juice, so keep squeezing if you don’t get that much out of one at first
- Microwave the limes. It’s best to keep your citrus at room temperature before juicing, but if they have been in the fridge try this method. Microwave for about 20 seconds to extract more juice from your limes. Allow to cool, then juice.
- Use a juicer made for citrus to squeeze out every last drop of that green gold. Your hands will work, too, but squeeze hard!
Tips for making Limeade
- For even more flavor add in some of the lime zest! You can even add some lime zest to the simple syrup for an added punch of flavor!
- For best results wait to serve this until it’s super cold!
- Serve this homemade limeade with fresh herbs! Basil, mint even rosemary would be amazing in this limeade!
Storage and Freezing Instructions
- Store homemade limeade in the pitcher you used to make it in your fridge for up to 5 days (but I doubt it’ll last that long!).
- You can freeze this limeade to make slushies or to make ice cubes with so your limeade later on doesn’t get watered down. You could also freeze the simple syrup and lime juice separately, if needed, but this recipe is simple enough to make on demand.
Can I use bottled lime juice?
I personally prefer to use fresh squeezed lime juice especially in limeade where the lime is the main ingredient. According to Bon Appetit bottled lime juice is typically sweeter, less acidic and has much less true lime flavor.
Tip! To make sure you always have fresh squeezed lime juice at home freeze lime juice into ice cube trays and pull out when you need it!
More Homemade Beverages To Try
If you liked this simple Easy Homemade Limeade, then you’ll love some of my other drink recipes perfect for spring and summer:
- Old Fashioned Lemonade
- Spiked Berry Lemonade
- Frozen Mixed Berry Lemonade
- White Wine Sangria
- Cranberry Margaritas
- 4 cups water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- Start by adding water and sugar to a medium saucepan and heating on high heat. Boil until sugar has fully dissolved stirring constantly. It typically takes about 2 minutes to dissolve. Take of the heat and place in the refrigerator until cool.
- Combine simple syrup mixture with the lime juice. Serve over ice. Garnish with extra slices of lime.