All year Gamache’s mouth watered for the homemade Manoir Bellechasse lemonade. It tasted fresh and clean, sweet and tart. It tasted of sunshine and summer.
—A Rule Against Murder

Homemade Lemonade 800

Makes 5 to 6 tall glasses lemonade


  • ½ cup (101 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water
  • 6 ripe, juice lemons, or as needed
  • Still water, club soda or sparkling water as needed (about ½ cup/125 ml) per serving


1. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer, stirring, over low heat. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the simple syrup into a heatproof jar with a lid (a canning jar works well). Cool to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, squeeze the lemons; there should be about 1 cup juice. Squeeze 1 or 2 more if you think the juice isn’t tart enough or if you like lemonade with a little kick. When the simple syrup is cool, pour in the lemon juice and refrigerate until well chilled, for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

3. To serve: Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in about ⅓ cup of the lemon juice mix. Top up the glass with about ½ cup still or sparkling water. Serve very cold.

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The best lemonade also uses the zest of the lemon. Those that are juice only are only getting half the flavor from the lemon. Peel the zest off with a vegetable peeler and add it to the pan when you make the simple syrup. Then proceed. I guarantee you’ll be much happier with the results.

This is pretty much the way I make lemonade. Two years ago I moved from Massachusetts to serve a church in Santa Paula, California and the house I bought has both a lemon tree and a Meyer lemon. As my grandson Sebastien says, “Best lemonade ever!”

Looking forward to your latest book, “A Great Reckoning”. Loved all your books.
Thanks for the lemonade recipe. Will buy more lemons tomorrow and try it.
Wish you were coming to Long Island on your book tour.

Mmmm – I love fresh lemonade, but have never (successfully) made my own. I will definitely try this!

Love this – it’s basically my recipe anyway. I use Meyer Lemons when they are in season (too short a season!), and I love the idea of adding maybe some orange and/or rosemary. Now I need to experiment! The description from the book at the head of the post is perfect!

I think I shall make up the Lemonade to have when the new book comes out! Will have a double treat that way. Thank you for sharing these recipes with your fans. So glad Michael had a good birthday. Another memory to treasure.

“Still” water is water that is not fizzy. It can be filtered or not, but just not carbonated. Someone else defined “distilled” water which you wouldn’t use in lemonade anyway.

Love using a simple syrup in lemonade or tea. Bruised fresh rosemary stems added in place of mint–yummy!

This recipe makes me wish I had a lemon in the house. I used the one I had to make lemon squares but the sun is shining gloriously today on my pink dogwood trees and my bursting rhododendrons so a glass of lemon on the back deck would be great before dinner.

The best Lemonade is made from Meyer lemons add fresh mint leaves too, if you have them.
Thank you for making me look forward to the treats of summer.

My grandmother used to make a lemonade concentrate which had in it lemon juice, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, sugar, and possibly more. She kept it in the refrigerator and we mixed it by the glass or by the pitcher as needed. I think we used 1/3 concentrate and 2/3 water.

Simple syrup can also just be added to the lemon juice and water. That way you can have it as sweet or tart as you want. Love adding fresh raspberries on top of the lemonade. My dream is to visit Manoir Hovey and live like the Gamaches did, even for just a weekend.

Love fresh lemonade and this recipe sounds amazing. Will definitely try…. Thank you for sharing.

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