State Fair Lemonade


This lemonade recipe is for real, authentic, vintage lemonade — the kind you might enjoy on a hot summer day at one of those stands at the state fair. Most of us make lemonade just out of lemon juice, but as you may know, the oils in the lemon peel contain a tremendous amount of flavor, and once you drink this, you won't want to go back to drinking it how you used to.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs 25 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins
1 1/2 quarts


  • 6 lemons

  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar

  • 5 cups cold water


  1. Wash lemons and peel off all the zest using a vegetable peeler; set peeled lemons aside. Add lemon zest to a bowl and cover with sugar; toss to combine. Cover and let sit for a minimum of 2 hours, or up to overnight.

  2. Bring water to a boil in a pot over high heat; turn off heat and pour in lemon-sugar mixture. Stir and let sit until sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.

  3. Pour through a mesh strainer back into the same bowl and discard the zest. Let cool to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.

  4. Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice into the bowl. Pour lemonade into a serving pitcher; cover and chill thoroughly before serving over ice, at least 2 hours.

Chef's Notes:

If your lemons feel waxy, give them a good scrub under hot water before using.

Feel free to adjust the amounts of lemon juice and sugar.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

183 Calories
0g Fat
53g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 183
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 83mg 416%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 159mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love