This simple, three-ingredient recipe for limeade is the perfect way to beat the heat!
Need a quick, simple, refreshing drink? How about a glass of freshly made limeade?
This homemade limeade has only three ingredients– and one of them is water!
That’s the kind of recipe that I, Rebecca of Good Things Baking like to pull out on busy days when the heat is unbearable.
The best part? This recipe takes about five to ten minutes to pull together.
Dissolving the sugar into hot water means that you don’t have to make a simple syrup and eliminates steps, time, and dirty dishes.
If you are serving this to a crowd, the recipe is easy to multiply to serve as many people as you’d like. And though limeade is traditionally a summer drink, it can be enjoyed year-round also!
As it’s written, you’ll have 1/2 gallon of limeade. So double, triple, or increase the recipe as many times as you like!
Ingredients for Limeade
The ingredients are pretty simple! For homemade limeade, you’ll need:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 – 2/3 cup lime juice — 1/2 cup will be a milder, sweeter limeade, while 2⁄3 cup will be a tangier drink. You can also adjust the amount of lime juice after tasting the finished limeade.
1 cup of hot water
About 6 cups of cold water — See the section below about making sparkling limeade.
What Kind of Lime Juice Works Best for Limeade?
I used freshly squeezed lime juice for this limeade, and I think it tastes the best.
Since the average lime yields about 2 tablespoons of juice, you’ll need 5-6 limes to make 2/3 cup of juice.
Some pulp from the limes will probably end up in your lime juice. You can strain the pulp out with a mesh strainer, or add it to the limeade.
If you prefer just using bottled lime juice, that’s fine too! It’ll save you a few minutes of squeezing, and will still taste great.
How to Make Limeade
1 — Begin by squeezing fresh limes until you have 2/3 cup of juice. (See ingredients list and notes about lime juice).
2 — In a half gallon (or 8 cup) pitcher, combine 1 cup of very hot water and 1⁄2 cup of white sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
3 — Add in 1⁄2 cup of fresh lime juice and taste the mix. If you would like it to be tangier, stir in therest of the lime juice.
4 — Add in 5-6 more cups of cold water and stir.
5 — Pour the limeade over ice and enjoy!
Extra limeade should be stored in a covered pitcher in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week. Stir it after it has been sitting, as some of the lime juice may settle.
Ideas for Serving Limeade
Limeade is best served over ice.
Adding mint sprigs and or an extra slice or wedge or two of lime to the glass is also pretty!
If you want to sugar the rims of your glasses, use your finger to wet about 1/4- inch of the glass.
Then, dip it in a bowl of sugar. Repeat with all of the glasses needed.
Note that the sugar will dissolve quickly if it gets wet. So only rim the glasses with sugar when the limeade is ready to be served.
If you are looking for a boozy version, we do have a Spiked Brazilian Limeade Cocktail version that’s just as easy.
Do you like your beverages carbonated? If so, you can replace most of the water in this recipe with unflavored seltzer water or club soda.
Do not use tonic water, as it has a bitter flavor that will affect the taste of your limeade.
To make a sparkling limeade, stir together regular hot water and sugar until it has dissolved, then add the lime juice. Add chilled unflavored seltzer water or club soda to the lime syrup until it you have 8 cups of liquid. Stir until the lime is all completely mixed in.
Serve the sparkling limeade right away, as the carbonation will become flat if you let it sit.
If you wish to mix the sugar and lime juice ahead of time, you can add the carbonated water at the last minute before serving.
How to Make a Cherry Limeade
Cherry and lime are a flavor combination made in heaven!
To add a cherry flavor to your limeade and turn it a pretty pink, add 1 tablespoon of maraschino cherry juice for every 8 ounces of limeade.
You can add the cherry juice to the whole pitcher, or mix it into each glass as you pour it.
You will need about 1⁄2 cup of maraschino cherry juice for the entire half gallon of limeade.
Taste the limeade after adding the juice and add more if you’d like. If serving in a pitcher, throw in lime slices for a finishing touch.
For more drink recipes, check out a few of our favorites from the archives below —
- How to make a root beer float
- Sparkling Mint Meyer Fresh lemonade
- Whipped coffee
- Detox Green Smoothie
Homemade Limeade Recipe
- Mesh strainer
- Lemon juicer
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/2-2/3 cup lime juice 1⁄2 cup will be a milder, sweeter limeade, while 2⁄3 cup will be a tangier drink. You can also adjust the amount of lime juice after tasting the finished limeade.
- 1 cup hot water
- 6 cups cold water
- Makes 1⁄2 gallon, or eight 8 oz. servings
- Since the average lime yields about 2 tablespoons of juice, you’ll need 5-6 limes to make 2⁄3 cups of juice.
- Extra limeade should be stored in a covered pitcher in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week. Stir it after it has been sitting, as some of the lime juice may settle.
- Begin by squeezing fresh limes until you have 2⁄3 cup of juice. (See ingredients list and notes about lime juice).
- In a half gallon (or 8 cup) pitcher, combine 1 cup of very hot water and 1⁄2 cup of white sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add in 1⁄2 cup of fresh lime juice and taste the mix. If you would like it to be tangier, stir in the rest of the lime juice.
- Add in 5-6 more cups of cold water and stir.
- Pour the limeade over ice and enjoy!