3-ingredient sunshine in a glass
Don't worry, I won't lean into any cliches about life and lemons. You know what you came here for. Lemonade. Simple, sweet 3-ingredient Honey Lemonade - aka 'Sunshine in a Glass.'
It's not often that my fruit bowl is empty of lemons; their zest is the secret ingredient in so many of my favorite sweet and savory dishes. However, I'm often at a loss as to what to do with the leftover citrus after zesting them. A good squeeze of lemon can open up the flavor profile of so many dishes, but add more than a squeeze or two and all you'll taste is lemon. This Honey Lemonade recipe is perfect for using up all of those zested lemons hanging out in your fridge, bald and neglected, just waiting for you to use them to make something spectacular.
What ingredients do I need to make this recipe?
- Lemon juice (fresh is best)
- Honey (see below for recommended varieties)
What kind of honey should I use?
I prefer to use a mild-flavored honey when making this Honey Lemonade because I like the lemon to own the spotlight. Generally, lighter-colored honey is milder in flavor, so choose one on the paler end of the spectrum if that's your goal too. Some good options are:
- Acacia - particularly sweet and very pale in color, this honey variety is known for crystalizing much slower than other varieties making it ideal for drinks such as lemonade
- Alfalfa - mildly spicy and floral with a pale color and a mild sweetness
- Clover - classicly sweet and floral, this honey comes in a gradient of shades from very pale to amber (it's also generally the easiest to find on a US grocery store shelf)
- Linden - fresh and distinctly woodsy with a pale yellow color
- Orange Blossom - mildly citrusy and floral
- Palmetto - lightly sweet
- Peach Blossom - mildly fruity and floral
- Sage - lightly sweet and very slow to crystalize
I generally use this raw clover honey when making this recipe. It's NOT important that you use a raw honey in this recipe because you're going to boil it anyway, negating much of the raw benefits. I just use it most often because it is readily available in my pantry and clover is a nice, mild honey.
Herbal flavor additions + a frozen alternative
This Honey Lemonade recipe is particularly wonderful with a generous pinch of dried lavender or some fresh mint steeped into the honey. If you prefer not to have bits of herbs floating around your lemonade, you can use a tea strainer or herb bag to hold the herbs as they cook with the honey and water, then fish it out at the end.
I also love to use this recipe in the summer months to make Harry Potter-inspired Lemon Ice Pops.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A cutting board
- A citrus knife or chef's knife
- A citrus juicer
- Measuring cups
- A small saucepan
- A wooden spoon or spatula
- A large drink pitcher OR a large bowl to mix + glass storage containers of your choosing (I like Mason jars)
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
A note for special diets
This Honey Lemonade is refined sugar-free, and friendly for paleo diets.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 48 oz 1x
- Category: Drinks & Libations
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
This Honey Lemonade recipe is perfect for using up all of those zested lemons hanging out in your fridge, just waiting for you to use them to make something spectacular.
For a single 48-52oz. batch (can easily double, triple, etc.):
- 5 cups water, divided
- 1 cup lemon juice (5-6 medium lemons)
- ½ cup mild honey (see above for suggestions)
Optional: See "Herbal flavor additions + a frozen alternative" section for some fun flavor infusion ideas as well as how to turn this recipe into ice pops.
- In a small saucepan, add honey and 1 cup water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil for a full minute then remove from heat.
- In a large pitcher (or a large mixing bowl if you're storing in smaller containers), add the honey mixture, lemon, and remaining water. Stir until well-combined and chill until ready to serve.
This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc. The images in this post show multiple batches.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 8 oz
- Calories: 89
- Sugar: 22 g
- Carbohydrates: 25 g
Keywords: Honey Lemonade
Yum this sounds so delicious and refreshing! I have some bee-free honey I could try this with 🙂
Jordan Elbaum says
Theres honestly nothing I lvoe more than lemonade in the summer. totally trying this.
Marisol Chancellor says
first of all, beautiful pictures! love how easy this recipe is. Will make it soon, my family would love it
This looks so refreshing! I love lemonade during the summer. Yum!
This is such a great recipe, I love that you use honey as a sweetener as sometimes they can include waaaay too much sugar for my liking! A perfect summer drink to rehydrate!
"Sunshine in a Glass" - I love that idea, and it's just what I need on a cloudy, dreary May day when what I really want is a big ol' dose of SUNSHINE! This is a terrific post - from the yummy recipe to all the extra details and tips - like the wonderful insight on all the nuances offered by different types of honey, plus the great suggestions for additions like dried lavender or fresh mint. Thank you so much for this little ray of sunshine today! 😀
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
What a great recipe! I am a big fan of lemonades with honey and sometimes, do add herbs.
One favourite for this moment in time? Add some finely grated ginger..
Love your recipe + super pics!!
Anne Lawton says
This is so simple, yet so delicious. I love that it's sweetened with honey
Literally I am salivating with the thought of that amazing sour-sweet! So yummy for this weather that's warming up
Heather H says
I never think to use honey in a lemonade recipe, not sure why. Making this with orange blossom honey is on my must do list, it sounds amazing!
Yes! This is exactly what I want in the summer so I can't wait to try this!
Megan Stevens says
So special. My mouth is watering. I have always loved how refreshing homemade lemonade is, and with the honey it's guilt-free and amazingly, truly healthy. Your honey guide is lovely, thank you!
Shelby @Fitasamamabear says
Looks so refreshing! it'll be such a hit in the summertime.
I love so many things about this recipe: the photographs, the mason jars, only 3-ingredinets, and ability to double or triple batch with ease