Homemade Sugar-Free Lemonade

Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :). I tend to pour some at night when I am temped to nibble.

Looking for a refreshing summer drink that is easy on your wallet?

Well, do I have a versatile lemonade recipe for you!

If you’ve been around my website a bit, you know that I don’t like purchasing ready-made things when I can easily make them myself.

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Here is another case in point and one of the easiest yet.

One of my readers recently asked if I had a healthy drink she could treat her kids to by offering them something besides water. I completely understand.

I don’t let my kids drink any sodas or bottled juice drinks. One reason is due to the problems that they pose for health and the other is the cost.

1.  Have you seen the plethora of negative information coming out about high fructose corn syrup and sugar alone?  There has been mercury detected in high fructose corn syrup due to the means of processing, and sugar is now being linked to all sorts of health issues.

2.  Take a look at your grocery bill and see how much you are spending on drinks:  sodas, juices, etc.  And those “healthy waters”?  Don’t get me started. Anyhow, here is a way that you can treat your whole family to a wonderful summery drink without breaking the bank.  And you can sweeten it however you wish.

Please note: There are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps keep this free blog up and running.

Tips & More

1.  Of course, use lime juice to make limeade!

2.  How much can you save?

If you purchase Costco’s lemon juice, one 64 ounce (close to a 2-liter) will set you back only 24 cents, plus the cost of your sweetener.  And if you use stevia, this is really a bargain drink!

Now that’s a sweet deal :-P!)

So skip the specialty stevia-sweetened drinks on the market — make your own and do something more purposeful with your money!

3.  This post on Stevia has tips to help you use it if you aren’t familiar with it.

But for starters, these mini stainless measuring scoops are pretty much a must have if you are going to use stevia extract. I only really use one or 2 of the scoops, but they are pretty reasonable so I was willing to buy the set.

Norpro Mini Measuring Spoons

The 2nd smallest scoop is 1/32 of a teaspoon (the standard “stevia scoop” size) and it fits nicely in my small stevia container.  Some of the extracts are of differing strengths, so you might need to use the mid-sized scoop as well.

4.  Sweetener tips: For sweeteners, if you are able to eat sugar (more on that later), I recommend honey or sucanat.  If need/wish to avoid sugar, I recommend stevia.  If you have trouble with stevia, there are other options:

Vegetable glycerine is a more natural one.  NOW glycerine is a great brand.
They are not technically regarded as “whole foods” in the whole foodie arena, but xylitol and erythritol are the better choices among the alternative options. I recommend several brands, including Now Foods and Emerald Forest.  Prices on Iherb are great too for alternative sweeteners, and you get $5 back on your first order!  Here’s a link to NuNaturals erythritol there.

Check out my recipe page for other Make Your Own Tips that can save you a bundle, including:

What is your favorite drink?
Do you have something you would like me to figure out a “homemade” version of?

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    Speak Your Mind


  1. I’m confused. Vegetable glycerin doesn’t sound sweet. ??? Does it work as a sweetener?

    • It is actually quite sweet. It is a “standby” in some circles of folks avoiding sugar. It is also a moisturizer :-). Medicine manufacturers use it in medicines to sweeten it for children.

  2. Hi! I wonder if bubbly mineral water could be used…. if so it would almost be a homemade 7up! the thing is… by mixing the water with the rest wouldn´t we loose the bubbles?
    maybe not if it was stored in glass bottles right away… what do you think?

  3. Yum! Thank you for sharing. This looks delish, right in time for the warm weather. I am going to Arizona to visit my sister at the end of June. I will bring this recipe with us to sip by her pool. Can’t wait. Thanks, Jana http://www.adoctorandanurse.com

  4. Thanks for sharing your sugar-free lemonade! :) Would you mind linking back to KTT? I didn’t see it in the list :)


  5. I have an Amish cookbook I love and it has a recipe for homemade lemonade. It says to wash several lemons and slice them fairly thin and layer them in a pitcher. Add water and let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours, using your potato masher every hour or so and mash the lemons in the pitcher to release not only the juice but also the flavor from the rind. Add sugar or artificial sweetener to taste after a few hours and it’s delicious! They also recommend adding a sprig of mint to each glass when serving but I don’t really like that. Yours sounds much easier but this one is very nice for show, such as having company over or to bring to a 4th of July celebration.

  6. New to your blog, really loving it!

    Cant wait to try this recipe out, perfect time for summer!

    I would love if you could create a great homemade toothpaste!

    I am new to being homemade and I am loving it so far…the taste, quality and price is worth the time for my family!

    Sarah beth

  7. Your homemade lemonade looks so delicious. I had no idea that there could be mercury in hfcs! I am going to check out your links now. Thanks so much for coming by to share at These Chicks Cooked Recipe Spotlight. Have a great weekend :)

  8. Great post and just in time for summer. We just got back from a 4 day camping trip and I wish I would have had it then!

    Thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop.

  9. Hi Adrienne,
    What a great lemonade! I will be serving this at my upcoming picnic, it looks very good. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  10. Happy to hear that you share our love for homemade beverages. Fresh squeezed lemonade is the ideal summer treat!

  11. great post and thanks for sharing, love to try it! have a great weekend!

  12. wow! that looks really yummy!! very healthy too.. hope you could visit me at http://www.eatdrinkblog.info/dinner-at-mc-donalds/
    also, i added this blog into my blogroll. i would appreciate an x link. thanks!!

  13. Thanks for sharing this! My kids love lemonade, but it’s hard to find lemondade that isn’t packed with food dyes. I will give this a try.

  14. Love this recipe:) I made up a similar one last year for a big family party, because my conscious wouldn’t let me buy the powdered junk. Using organic lemon juice and sugar, it tasted great, but this year I wanted to figure out a sugar free or natural sweetener option. So grateful to find you!
    Thanks goes to Spain In Iowa’s Simple Lives Thursday for leading me here:)

  15. This sounds delicious! I love homemade lemonade.

  16. Thank you for the “Print This” button for the recipe. That is so helpful.

  17. What a refreshing drink — most juices and sodas aren’t refreshing. My husband will also be happy with it. Now i’m eager to try it.

    Hope your weekend is joy-filled.

  18. Georgette says:

    This sounds like a great alternative to sugar-sweetened fresh lemonade. I was making mine with evaporated cane sugar, but have not tried stevia. Will definitely pick it up on my next grocery trip and give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • I hope you like the stevia. I would highly recommend one of the brands I have mentioned. Some are downright bitter. Also, you may wish to try Sucanat. It is a healthier alternative than the cane juice crystals.

      Hope it works for you!

  19. MMMMMHH…Yummmmmy!

  20. I have used powdered stevia for year to sweeten drinks. However, I have found that it doesn’t work as well in acidic drinks such as lemonade or coffee. I end up using half stevia and half some other sweetener. I wonder if it is the brand, but I have used different ones. I have also wondered if the liquid form would work better. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for linking up!

    • Linda, which brand of stevia do you use? I haven’t tried the liquid form, but I will go try one now and see how it goes, though my liquid ones all have a flavor added. Maybe if I try the orange flavor it won’t be too strange :-).

  21. Vicky Glisson says:

    Here is our recipe:
    2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice( i use an electric juicer, and we juice 12-16 bags of lemons at a time, then freeze 2 cups of juice in a quart freezer bag). add 1 tblsp of liquid stevia(does not have the aftertaste) and water to make 1 gallon.

    When we want lemonade….(2-3 gallons a week) we pull out a bag of frozen juice, add water and stevia….EASY

    • Rika Susan says:

      Great post, Adrienne! So good to see more ideas that can help to get kids (and adults!) away from sugary sodas, etc. This lemonade really works!

      Vicky (comment above), this is more or less our recipe as well. It is so easy and inexpensive to make. I try to peel the lemons really thinly, in order to keep as much of the white pith as possible. The pith is very nutrient-rich. We sometimes add some limes to the mix as well for a change. Guilt-free refreshment!

  22. Travis Estes says:

    I’m a little confused and find the stevia proportions a little contradictory. Could you be more specific?

    • Sure – let me know what your specific question is. Each scoop is 1/32 tsp so 8 scoops is 1/4 tsp. Make sure you are using stevia extract and not stevia with additives. :-).

  23. One more question on a completely different recipe. I noticed that you have commented a lot on the homemade rice milk recipe on the money saving mom site. It calls for 1 cup of cooked rice. Does that mean the equivalent of 1 cup uncooked rice, cooked, and then added to the recipe, or literally one cup of cooked rice. Sorry for being the stickler for details…

  24. Love this Andrienne! Mmmmm!

  25. Here is a Honey Ginger-Ale recipe I am having fun with. Got it from “Fresh Blends” recipe book by Blendtec. Hope you don’t have an aversion to Blendtec. I know I am enjoying some of the recipes you make in your Vitamix. (grin)! Here is the recipe:
    1/3 cup ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped; 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice; 1/4 cup of honey; 1/4 cup agave nectar (synergy works here); and 1 Liter of Sparkling water, chilled. . . Here are directions: Add first 4 ingreients to jar in order listed and secure lid. Select “Whole Juice”. Pour blend into mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth and drain. Gather edges of cheesecloth and squeeze firmly to extract as much juice as possible. Pour 1/4 coup of blend into each glass and add sparkling water. Serve with ice cubles and fresh lemon slices if desired. . . that is the recipe. Here are my notes: I increased the ginger to closer to 1/2 cup (I like ginger); I used our Nut Bag to strain the concoction. The idea is to get the ginger tailings out. This is really delicious. I also works well with just cold water. . . First time I added the mix, I poured it directly into the Sparkling water – ohhhh my, it was fizz everywhere. Now I just add the waters to the mix.

    • This sounds great! No, I don’t have an official aversion to Blendtec – I tried one once hoping I’d love it as much as my Vitamix as it is more compact, but I couldn’t get good results with nut butters or sorbet. That’s all :).

    • Vern,

      You can also carbonate the drink after mixing everything together. A complete carbonation setup can be purchased from Amazon for less than $200. It is much cheaper than a Sodastream in the long run. If you carbonate your stevia-sweetened lemonade, you’ll have a excellent substitute for soda pop. It’s fantastic for helping people to deal with soft drink addictions. Here’s an article showing you how easy it is:
      (link deleted due to malware problems. See Popsci website for info.)

      Don’t forget to add a pinch of un-refined sea salt for each serving of lemonade. It definitely kicks it up a notch or two.

  26. ok,after convincing myself, I ordered NuNatural stevia through Vitacost, but couldn’t understand how to measure as the bottle doesn’t have any spoon.

    After going back and forth for one week reading this post and others as well, I just realised your Amazon link is for LIQUID and Vitacost is extract powder!!!!

    So, now I have this sittin on my counter:

    Should I return it or there is a way to use powdered extract…

    Appreciate any help.


    • Hi Sofia. I just checked the post and all of the links to NuNaturals were for solid…so I’m confused. Could you tell me which one you clicked on please?

      I called NuNaturals this morning and they don’t have the scoops. Sigh. But I did find some you could buy. I had one from earlier when I bought KAL, though I am not sure how I ended up with 2….

      In any case, you just have to use 1/32 of a tsp. So try a good-sized dash for a glass and see how it goes. For the lemonade, you can follow the instructions I gave and use a 1/4 tsp.

      Let me know if I’ve misunderstood. Thanks!

  27. oh. I clicked the first one in the Ingredients, but now I understand my confusion. Since I didn’t get the spoon and my link said “powder” while Amazon doesn’t specify that, I thought you were using liquid and I got the wrong product.:):)
    I am relieved that I have the same product that you are using.

    Thanks for clarifying it. I will use the instructions for lemonade, but you also mentioned you found some place where I can get the scoop. Is it @ Amazon?

    On side note, I appreciate every effort you make to answer our questions. I have a lot of respect for what you do and I wish you and your family happpiness and success.

    Take Care.

    • You are so kind, Sofia. I found a few places. This one seems to be reputable since they provide a phone # and secure checkout. I think I am going to order quite a few. I’ve had two total, but both have broken. It’s been over a number of years, but still……

      I just spoke with them and they seem like a reputable company. Hope it works out for you!!! 15 cc Scoop @ Bramble Berry.

  28. Made it finally with stevia( afetr bookmarking it for so long!!!!). The family enjoyed it a lot.

    Thank you…


  29. Hey Adrienne

    Just came across this set of spoons to measure Stevia and thought of sharing it with you. If you read the first review, it also gives you the measurement of each spoon related to their cute name.


    Hope it helps.


    • I think those are great!

      The little plastic scoops are really nice b/c they fit easily in the stevia container, but as I said, I’ve had 2 break over the course of about 3 years. Which do you think you will buy? Thanks, Sofia!

  30. I think I am gonna go with Norpro set from Amazon as these are stainless steel.

    • I like that too…the one nice thing about the plastic is that the tiny scoop will fit in the stevia bottle so you don’t need to keep washing it. I’d love to hear what you think after you use it for awhile!

  31. Hi Adrienne. I tried this recipe with oranges lemons and sparkling water. instead of all the artificial sweetners mentioned I used Agave Syrup but only a small amount as its very sweet. It turned out brilliantly and my fussy 12 yr old loves it. Agave syrup is a low GI sweetner and has about quarter the calories that sugar has and none of the dangers alluded to for artificial sweeteners.

  32. Great recipe! I would substitute fresh lemon juice, I like the taste better and I don’t trust any of that bottled stuff, organic or not. Thanks for reminding me to make drinks at home!

  33. I didn’t read thru all the posts so not sure if anyone else mentioned this, but, if you use San Pellagrino Sparkling Mineral Water with your lemon mix – ITS AMAZING! Tastes very much like Sprite. I easily drink a 32 oz. container of this on hot summer nights sitting on the porch.

  34. Lovely!

  35. hello, i just found your blog and am loving it so far. i just ordered my first bottle of stevia. the same you said to =) i would love to make this lemonade but am a littel confused about the stevia, am i going to use 8 scoops of 1/4 each scoop or a total of 1/4? thank you in advance especially ad im sure this is a dumb question.

    • HI and welcome! There’s a great giveaway coming today so make sure you are subscribed :). Here’s a post on stevia that should help. Keep in mind, that that stevia has changed. You will need about 60% more now. Your price shouldn’t be much more since it has larger volume. I am currently trying out different stevias to see which brand(s) I want to recommend.

  36. Victoria Bethea says:

    I’m trying to find your blog about water filters. I came across it in a recipe and now I can’t seem to locate. Thank you! Victoria

  37. I bet if you made a batch of this into ice cubes, then use them to cool another batch you wouldn’t have any dilution issues.

  38. The lemonade is great! I’m thinking that you meant a 1/4 cup of lemon juice per 8 oz of water though.

  39. I use liquid stevia. It’s much better to me than the powders. One small bottle last a long time cause 1 drop will sweeten 16 oz of tea quite well.

  40. Im a diabetic and always looking for ways to make sugar free stuff but I cant use the artificial sweetners as im allergic to all of them example nutrasweet splenda equal sweet n low

  41. you are a freaking nut let your kids be kids, and the “mercury” in high fructose is so minimal that it barely registers. for got to mention that point in your highlights didn’t ya. stevia??really??? I really detest people that do this to their children .steal their child=hood because they found something they can control

    • Hi Cyndi. There are a lot of other issues w/ HCFS besides the mercury. This post at Huffington Post tells more details. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/high-fructose-corn-syrup-dangers_b_861913.html Maybe you would like to address your accusations to that author as well. I think my concerns are well founded.

      What do you think is wrong with stevia, may I ask? I don’t feel that caring for my kids’ health is “stealing” my kids childhood. In fact, I think I may be securing it and giving them a much healthier future. Have you noticed the incredible increases in diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and more? Much of this is due to the toxins in our food and environment. Perhaps you haven’t been touched by it personally yet, but for those of us who have, we know the benefits of changing to a more whole food diet.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on my response. Thank you.

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