A lot of recipes I see call for lemon quantity but this can be very relative as some lemons differ in weight/size, thus yielding to different amounts of lemon juice.

For instance, if I wanted to make half a gallon's worth of lemonade, what would be the recommended ratio of lemon juice to water be? I tend to use about 2 cups of sugar to give you an idea of level of sweetness in half a gallon's worth of lemonade.

  • Don't lemons also differ in taste, so some are sweeter and some are more sour.
    – Willeke
    Mar 11, 2021 at 19:37
  • Definitely. It’s been a game of trial and error as far as brand hunting. I’ve had organic lemons that were just as sour (if not worse) than non-organic. Mar 11, 2021 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


According to this lemonade recipe Best Lemonade Ever rated by 3K people, averaging a rating of 5 stars, the ratio is

  • 1 ¾ cups white sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups lemon juice

Since you're using 2 cups of sugar, I recommend you follow the recipe:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 ⅔ cups (27 tbsp) lemon juice

As for lemons to lemon juice estimate, from How Much Juice Can You Get From One Lemon?:

  • 1 Small Lemon (4 oz.) = 3 tbsp fresh juice.
  • 1 Medium Lemon (5 oz.) = 4 tbsp fresh juice.
  • 1 Large Lemon (6 oz.) = 5 tbsp fresh juice


  • using small lemons, you'll need about 9
  • using medium lemons, you'll need about 7
  • using large lemons, you'll need about 5

My mother taught me to make lemonade using a 3:1:1 ratio: 1 cup of lemon juice and 1 cup of sugar for every 3 cups of water. Based on that ratio, if you're using 2 cups of sugar, you would also use 2 cups of lemon juice.

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