The world’s best homemade lemonade with a secret ingredient, in the big reveal from the “Half Pint Hacks”

By Amanda Rose | Citrus

Jun 08

The world's best homemade lemonade with a secret ingredient, in the big reveal from the "Half Pint Hacks"I am reposting this year-old homemade lemonade recipe along with our big summer announcement: The youngest generation of Fresh Bites Daily has decided to represent here on the website this summer in a collection of kitchen and household videos. The first video is below with the recipe.

Expect four or five videos this week and quite a few in the summertime weeks to come. We’ve even got a few videos “on location.” Hey, it’ summer. 🙂 As the summer winds down, we’ll just see what we have the steam for.

You can also expect a good bit of chocolate.

I’ll leave the lemonade post below as I wrote it last year. I find it amusing that a year ago I had to sneak around and figure out what his secret was. He also thought the whole idea was too boring to write about and yet here we are, one year later, and he has a video on the topic. 😉


Homemade lemonade was my son’s first solo kitchen project and has become a standing favorite through the warmer months of the year. Now at the ripe age of 12, I asked him to write up his recipe for this website and his response:

“It’s sooo boring to write up a lemonade recipe. I mean, it’s lemon juice, water, and sweetener. Big deal. Oh but there is that one secret ingredient.”

??? “Really, honey? I didn’t realize you added anything else to it. What’s the secret?”

“Sorry. I’m not going to tell you. It’s my secret.”

Some months have passed since that conversation and I’ve slyly watched the lemonade getting made wondering what-in-the-heck he adds to it.

The secret? Orange juice. It’s actually fairly brilliant. You have the juicer out anyway. Nothing else gets dirty in the process. Fresh orange juice is so terribly sweet that it can sweeten up a batch of lemonade. Try the combination and see what you think.

For a more traditional lemonade, a replacement for the powdered stuff in a can, I recommend this honey-sweetened lemonade. This recipe makes a drink dense in lemon and in honey, a good replacement for the canned stuff in its sweetness and lemon flavor. It is far too sweet for me — I prefer a lightly sweetened water if I am going to have one. I dilute this recipe by about 2/3 for myself filling a glass 1/3 with the lemonade and then topping it off with seltzer water. Play around with the proportions to see what works for you. It is certainly easy to dilute it if it’s too sweet.

I also start with a honey syrup — just 1/2 honey and 1/2 water. I warm the water and add the honey. This makes the honey pourable and easily added to summertime drinks. Make some extra honey syrup and keep it in your refrigerator for an instant honey-sweetened beverage.

Honey Lemonade Ingredients

Real food lemonade, fresh and honey-sweetened (or sweetened with this secret ingredient)

  • 1 cup of honey syrup (1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup honey)
  • 2 quarts of water
  • The juice of about five lemons, about 1 1/2 cups

Honey Lemonade Steps

  1. Prepare your honey syrup by warming your water and dissolving the honey in it. If you are using a local raw honey (good for you), take care to keep the water temperature on the lower end, perhaps up to about 100 degrees, to keep all of the benefits of the honey intact.
  2. If you prepare the syrup in advance, store it in the refrigerator both for freshness and to cool it for your lemonade.
  3. Combine syrup, water, and lemon juice. Adjust the ratios and take note of what works for you.
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