Refreshing Homemade Sugar-Free Lemonade

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

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 tempted to nibble.

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

Well, do I have a versatile sugar-free lemonade recipe for you! It's a homemade lemonade recipe with a low-carb twist.

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.

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.

My kids aren't always happy with me about this decision, but well, I wasn't put here to be their best buddy or to get the “Most Fun Mom of the Year Award” (though I admit that wouldn't be a bad thing).  My job is to help them to live a vibrant, healthy life, and part of that is encouraging them to have a healthy diet.

And sugar, artificial colors, and artificial flavors aren't much of a help in that arena.

Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :)

Concerns with Store Bought Drinks

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sugar

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.

If you make this homemade lemonade instead of buying store bought drinks, you can avoid much of your exposure to these not-so-great ingredients.

2. High Cost Items

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 this homemade lemonade however you wish.

I must admit, that in recent days, there are more and more healthy alternatives on the market that I love.  We recently tested some delicious Bai drinks at Costco and we LOVE Zevia soda.  However, they really can put a dent in your budget, so they are just for very occasional purchases in our household.  We've really only bought the Bais once.

Actually, an update to this post will be following soon, hopefully.  We found a way to bring healthy, low carb soda into out home at a fraction of those cost.  Stay tuned for that!  It's one of our favorite new additions to our kitchen!

3.  Calories and Weight Gain

There is more to weight gain than just calories, but sodas and juices are pretty much empty, sugar-laden calories that have been implicated as part of the cause of our obesity epidemic.

It's probably a good idea to restrict this kind of beverage if you are hoping to control your weight.

And personally, I would rather splurge on a healthy dessert than drink a soda.  To quote my aunt, “I would rather drink my calories than eat them.”

I concur.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :)

Tips for Homemade Sugar-free Lemonade

Before we get to the recipe, here are some tips related to the recipe and the ingredients in it.

1.  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 sugar-free lemonade really is a bargain drink!

Now that's a sweet deal :-P!)

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

2.  How to Use Stevia

If you're going to use stevia to sweetener your homemade lemonade, then here are some tips on how to use it.

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.

3.  Sweetener tips:

For sweetening your sugar-free lemonade, 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 a discount on your!  Here's a link to NuNaturals erythritol there.

Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :)

Homemade Sugar-Free Lemonade


  • 64 oz (8 cups) water
  • 1/4 cup (equivalent of two lemons) lemon juice (I recommend Dream Foods organic)*
  • 8 scoops (1/4 tsp) pure stevia extract (I recommend NuNaturals), to taste** (you may substitute approximately 1/2 cup of a granulated or liquid sweetener to taste.)


  1. Pour water into pitcher.
  2. Add lemon juice and stevia.
  3. If using a granulated sweetener, mix ½ cup water and the sweetener in a pot and heat until the sweetener is dissolved. Then, once dissolved, add sweetener and water mix to remaining water.
  4. Stir and enjoy!
  5. This sugar-free lemonade tastes great chilled with ice cubes. It really refreshed my husband and boys this past week when they were working on our raised beds in 90+ degree heat!


Recipe Notes

*Our family purchases the same brand of organic bottled lemon juice in convenient large bottles at our local Costco. Please don't buy the yucky plastic bottled lemon juice that is labeled as "made from concentrate."

Yuck taste and yuck ingredients (do you really want to be eating sodium benzoate, sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite if you don't have to? Me neither.

Besides, sodium benzoate has been implicated in issues related to it being combined with citric acid and creating benzene, so be very careful with this ingredient in both food and personal care products.

**Pure stevia is incredibly sweet. 1 scoop = 1/32 tsp and either one or two scoops will sweeten an 8 oz drink. It is really important which stevia you choose. Some are just plain icky. Our family's current favorite is NuNaturals as it is one of the only brands that uses only water to extract the stevia from the plant. But KAL is really nice as well. I am going to be trying another brand that was recommended to me soon. I'll keep you updated!

4 reviews

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

What is your favorite drink?
Have you made Homemade Lemonade before?


Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :)

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Wow – so much sweetness! 8-O/
    I squeeze half a lemon (from our tree) into a 1.25 litre bottle of Soda-stream water and we love it. Lemons have more natural sugar than oranges, so our kids are used to the tangy taste. They are allowed to have Sprite (etc) when they go out with friends, but actually don’t like the “sticky” feeling of all that sugar. Unsweetened lemonade for the win!

    • We love our soda stream! I’m a little confused though – oranges in fact have much more sugar than lemons. I so wish I had a lemon tree – jealous :).

  2. I was under the impression that if Stevie is white it is not real stevia . So can you give me some input in that ? I put leaf stevia in water bottled water and put it in the refrigerator for a few days . I had to use much more than 1/4 of a teaspoon . But it was okay ,

  3. At first I followed the recipe as written. Using 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice made a lemonade that barely had a lemony flavor (too watered down). I like a bit of tanginess in my lemonade. In the end I used 1 cup juice and additional sweetener (both erythritol and stevia) and then it was just right.
    Adding grapefruit juice gave it a nice twist too! Next time I will try using seltzer water for a soda like effect.

  4. This looks to be a fantastic recipe, but do NOT use xylitol as it is extremely poisonous to dogs. It can cause complete liver failure within 12-24 hours and your dog would die, especially a small dog. I know as my dog swallowed a piece of gum and within 8 hours, she was lethargic, unable to walk, etc. Therefore, she was at the vet on IV for four days and it took her another six weeks to get well. Xylitol is a sweetener which humans can process, but not dogs. So be careful

    • HI Susan. Yes, that is true. Of course there are other things that are toxic to dogs and cats as well – like raisins and grapes. Thanks for reading and sharing :).

  5. You are right to TEACH your children and HELP them make the right choices I am figuring this out at 53 So many of the things we put into our body has horrible reprocussions on our health I went on a low carb diet years ago and got used to using artificial sweeteners and I have always been confused to know what to buy and the other ones are cheaper that is the problem in most cases is the price of good things but in the long run it is more cost effective to spent the extra money and buy what is healthiest choice. Your health is worth so much more than the money you save. I also want to add that sugar is poison to us. If a mouse knew it was eating poison and was going to kill him with a miserable death “do you really think he would eat it?”

  6. Thank you for this delicious lemon aide recipe the family loves it. I can’t wait try some your other recipes. .

  7. Hi, i know this is most likely a stupid question, but i have a 4oz. bottle of NuNaturals NuStevia white stevia powder i bought at a health food store. Im a newbee….So no where on the bottle does it say extract, so have i messed up and bought the wrong thing ? And after doing all this reading i looked on the back and the first thing i saw was Maltodextrin~~~~oops here next to the Maltodextrin it says, stevia extract but as i read on it says the Maltodextrin is to help with the measuring … I am a bit slow and sort of have a little more of a hard time understanding things, would you please try and help me with this before i go buy more ? I am so trying to undo a lot of damage done to me by my mom filling me with junk foods day in and day out as a child causing me to be extreme obese when i was small…. (and still battle every day of my life) So could you post a picture or something showing just exactly what you buy ? I just cant Thank You enough . I am so glad i have found you, God Bless and keep up the awesome work you do <3


    • Hi there. I don’t buy any stevia with maltodextrin in it. I only buy the pure stevia extract. There is a link in the post and I have some in this post as well. I am trying out other brands too but I like that one. Welcome and hope to see you around again! I had a lot of health issues from bad diet too so I’m happy my experience can help others.

      • Unfortunately, NuNaturals Nustevia Pure White Stevia Extract now has “Natural Flavors” listed under “Other Ingredients”. :/ Kal has added maltodextrin to their “pure” stevia. Have you found any brands that are pure?

        • I have talked w/ them about their natural flavors and they told me that they are all food ingredients. I would have to look up the specifics . I typically use their Reb99 product. There are others that I use. I hope to do a post on them as well.

  8. 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. 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.

    • I was raised on sweet tea, which gave me a sweet tooth to this day that is hard to control. Later I tried to switch to soda pop which had High Fructose Corn syrup sweeteners. Now I am severely insulin resistant & pre-diabetic but while keeping my A1C down between 5.8 and 6.2, I still have advancing symptoms of Diabetes, which I have been unable to stop and reverse. I am extremely ill, but still functioning. I have studied health to try to reverse it for 11 years and the only thing left to me are extremes – long fasts and liver flushes to try to help my health which I am about to try to do soon. I sure wish my parents would have made healthier choices for themselves and us kids – my parents died horrible deaths and my brother who still uses sugar is so sick that he will probably die soon, within the year, and his death will be horrible too, because he is going through really bad things now. Gastroparesis (paralyzing muscles in the stomach which doesn’t allow digestion and seems to go all the way down through to his bladder too – loss of bladder function) along with many other things. I don’t want to go through those horrible things! I am trying to figure it all out and I am unable to drink anything except juiced vegetables, water and water with lemon squeezed in it – any sweetener causes me trouble. And generally, I am often dehydrated because of it. Please don’t bad-mouth a mom who is trying to help keep her child healthy! It may save their life when they are older.

      • Ugh. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Can you use pure stevia extract?

        • Stevia is the only thing I could use but my taste buds don’t like it very much, I’ve tried several brands, and it really makes me hungry from the sweet taste. I use it from time to time but it is better for me to stay away from any sweetener, so I go without a sweetener except when I just have to have something. My taste buds are doing a lot better because of it.

      • Elaine Markley says:

        Sabrina, you should do some research on the Ketogenic Diet. It could really help you.

    • Wow Cyndi!

      I wish I’d had healthier options as a child. Not blaming my parents, we just didn’t know. HFCs is horrible for us, there is a reason other countries don’t allow it. I am now having to go to functional specialist to get my body back in sync. Gmo, HFCs should be banned in our foods.