State Fair Lemonade Recipe

If you’re a fan of lemonade, you’re probably already familiar with the classic State Fair Lemonade recipe. This refreshing drink is a staple at state fairs and carnivals across the country, and for good reason. Made with fresh lemons, sugar, and water, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and it’s incredibly easy to make at home.

To get started, all you need are a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time. You’ll want to start by washing and peeling your lemons, then combining the lemon zest with sugar in a bowl. Let the sugar and zest sit for a few hours, or even overnight, to infuse the sugar with lemon flavor. Then, simply add the lemon juice, sugar mixture, and water to a pitcher and stir until everything is well combined. Serve over ice and enjoy!

History of State Fair Lemonade

State Fair Lemonade has become a staple at fairs and festivals across the United States. This refreshing drink has a long and interesting history that dates back to the early 1900s.

The origins of State Fair Lemonade are unclear, but it is believed that it was first served at state fairs in the Midwest. The drink quickly became popular among fair-goers, and its popularity spread to other states.

Initially, State Fair Lemonade was made with just lemons, sugar, and water. However, over the years, different variations of the recipe have emerged. Some recipes call for the addition of other fruits, such as strawberries or raspberries, while others add herbs like mint or basil.

Today, State Fair Lemonade is a beloved drink that is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is often sold in large, souvenir cups and is a must-try for anyone attending a fair or festival.

Whether you prefer your State Fair Lemonade sweet or sour, there is no denying that this classic drink has stood the test of time and remains a favorite among Americans.

State Fair Lemonade Recipe: Essential Ingredients

If you want to make State Fair Lemonade at home, you’ll need to gather a few essential ingredients. Here are the key components that you’ll need to make this refreshing beverage:


The first essential ingredient for State Fair Lemonade is lemons. You’ll need six lemons for this recipe, and it’s important to choose ripe ones that are free of any blemishes or bruises. Wash the lemons thoroughly before you start preparing them.

Granulated Sugar

The next essential ingredient is granulated sugar. You’ll need 1 1/4 cups of sugar to sweeten the lemonade to your liking. You can use other types of sugar, but it may alter the taste of your lemonade.


Water is another essential ingredient for State Fair Lemonade. You’ll need five cups of cold water to dilute the lemon juice and sugar mixture.


Finally, you’ll need ice to chill the lemonade and make it even more refreshing. You’ll need one cup of ice, plus extra to serve.

By gathering these essential ingredients, you’ll be well on your way to making a delicious batch of State Fair Lemonade.

State Fair Lemonade: Equipment Needed

To make State Fair Lemonade, you will need a few essential pieces of equipment. Here are the items you will need to make this delicious and refreshing drink.


The first thing you will need is a juicer. You can use either a manual or electric juicer, depending on your preference. If you have a lot of lemons to juice, an electric juicer will save you a lot of time and effort. However, if you only need to juice a few lemons, a manual juicer will work just fine.


You will also need a pitcher to mix the lemonade in. A glass pitcher is ideal because it will not absorb any of the flavors or colors of the lemonade. Make sure the pitcher is large enough to hold all of the lemonade you plan to make. A 2-quart pitcher should be sufficient for most recipes.


Finally, you will need a stirrer to mix the lemonade. You can use a long spoon or a wooden stirrer. Make sure the stirrer is long enough to reach the bottom of the pitcher. You will need to stir the lemonade well to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved.

Once you have these three essential pieces of equipment, you are ready to start making State Fair Lemonade.

State Fair Lemonade Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide

Making State Fair Lemonade is quite simple and straightforward, and you can do it at home with just a few ingredients. Follow these steps to make your own refreshing lemonade:

  1. Start by washing six lemons thoroughly under hot water. You can use more lemons if they are small.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel the lemon zest and set the peeled lemons aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the lemon zest and 1 ¼ cups of white sugar. Toss to combine and cover the bowl. Let the mixture sit for a minimum of 2 hours, or up to overnight.
  4. After the lemon zest has soaked in the sugar, add it to a pitcher along with the peeled lemons. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to muddle the lemons and sugar mixture together.
  5. Add 5 cups of cold water to the pitcher and stir well.
  6. Pour the lemonade over ice and serve chilled.

That’s it! You now have a delicious and refreshing State Fair Lemonade that you can enjoy at home. If you want to add a little extra flavor, you can also try adding some fresh mint leaves or a splash of sparkling water.

Variations of the State Fair Lemonade Recipe:

While the classic State Fair Lemonade recipe is delicious on its own, there are many variations you can try to mix things up and add your own personal touch to the drink. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Fruit Infusions

One way to add some extra flavor to your lemonade is to infuse it with other fruits. Some popular options include:

  • Strawberry Lemonade: Add sliced strawberries to the lemonade mixture before shaking.
  • Raspberry Lemonade: Add fresh raspberries to the lemonade mixture before shaking.
  • Blueberry Lemonade: Add fresh blueberries to the lemonade mixture before shaking.
  • Peach Lemonade: Add sliced peaches to the lemonade mixture before shaking.

Herb Infusions

Another way to add some extra flavor to your lemonade is to infuse it with herbs. Some popular options include:

  • Mint Lemonade: Add fresh mint leaves to the lemonade mixture before shaking.
  • Basil Lemonade: Add fresh basil leaves to the lemonade mixture before shaking.
  • Rosemary Lemonade: Add fresh rosemary leaves to the lemonade mixture before shaking.


While the classic State Fair Lemonade recipe calls for white sugar, there are other sweeteners you can use to mix things up. Some popular options include:

  • Honey: Use honey instead of sugar for a more natural sweetener.
  • Agave Nectar: Use agave nectar instead of sugar for a lower glycemic index sweetener.
  • Stevia: Use stevia instead of sugar for a zero-calorie sweetener.


If you want to add some fizz to your lemonade, you can carbonate it with soda water or sparkling water. Simply add the carbonated water to the lemonade mixture after shaking and stir gently.

Alcoholic Variations

For an adult twist on the classic State Fair Lemonade, you can add some alcohol to the mix. Some popular options include:

  • Vodka Lemonade: Add a shot of vodka to the lemonade mixture before shaking.
  • Gin Lemonade: Add a shot of gin to the lemonade mixture before shaking.
  • Tequila Lemonade: Add a shot of tequila to the lemonade mixture before shaking.

Remember to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

State Fair Lemonade: Serving Suggestions

Now that you have made your delicious State Fair Lemonade, it’s time to serve it up! Here are some serving suggestions to make the most out of your refreshing drink:

  • Serve in a tall glass with plenty of ice. The ice will keep your lemonade cold and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day.
  • Garnish with a slice of lemon or a sprig of fresh mint for a pop of color and added flavor.
  • Pair with your favorite summer foods, like grilled burgers, hot dogs, or BBQ chicken. The tartness of the lemonade will complement the savory flavors of your meal.
  • Serve as a non-alcoholic option at your next summer party or barbecue. Your guests will appreciate the refreshing drink, and it’s a great alternative to sugary sodas.
  • Add a splash of vodka or gin for a refreshing summer cocktail. Just be sure to drink responsibly!

No matter how you choose to serve your State Fair Lemonade, it’s sure to be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy!

State Fair Lemonade: Storage and Shelf Life

Once you have made a batch of State Fair Lemonade, you may be wondering how to store it properly to ensure that it stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible. Here are some tips to help you store your lemonade and extend its shelf life:

  • Refrigerate: The best way to store your State Fair Lemonade is in the refrigerator. Make sure to transfer the lemonade to a covered container before placing it in the fridge. This will help prevent any unwanted flavors or odors from seeping into the lemonade.
  • Freeze: If you have made a large batch of lemonade and don’t plan on drinking it all within a few days, you can freeze it for later. Transfer the lemonade to a freezer-safe container and make sure to leave some room at the top for expansion. When you’re ready to enjoy your lemonade, simply thaw it in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • Shelf Life: State Fair Lemonade can last for up to a week in the refrigerator if stored properly. However, its shelf life may vary depending on the quality of the ingredients used and the conditions in which it is stored. To ensure that your lemonade stays fresh, make sure to taste it before drinking it. If it tastes off or has an odd odor, it’s best to discard it.

By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your State Fair Lemonade stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

State Fair Lemonade: Nutritional Information

If you’re watching your calorie intake, you may be wondering how many calories are in a glass of State Fair Lemonade. The exact number of calories will depend on the recipe you use and the serving size, but here’s a breakdown of the nutritional information for a typical recipe:

Serving SizeCaloriesTotal FatSaturated FatCholesterolSodiumTotal CarbohydratesDietary FiberTotal SugarsProtein
1 cup1050g0g0mg5mg28g0g26g0g

As you can see, a cup of State Fair Lemonade contains 105 calories and 26 grams of sugar. If you’re trying to cut back on your sugar intake, you may want to consider using a sugar substitute or reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe.

It’s also worth noting that lemonade can be high in carbohydrates, which can be a concern for people with diabetes or those following a low-carb diet. If you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, you may want to limit your consumption of State Fair Lemonade or choose a low-carb alternative.

Overall, State Fair Lemonade can be a refreshing treat on a hot day, but it’s important to be mindful of the nutritional information and consume it in moderation.


Congratulations! You have successfully made State Fair Lemonade at home. This classic drink is perfect for hot summer days, and you can now enjoy it anytime you want. Here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • The secret to authentic State Fair Lemonade lies in the lemon peel. Be sure to wash your lemons thoroughly and use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel the lemon zest.
  • The recipe is simple and requires only a few ingredients: lemons, sugar, ice, and water. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your taste preference.
  • You can prepare the lemonade in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Just be sure to add ice right before serving.
  • If you want to get creative, you can add different flavors to your lemonade. Some popular options include strawberry, raspberry, and lavender.

Overall, making State Fair Lemonade is a fun and easy activity that anyone can do. It’s a refreshing drink that will quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth. So, grab some lemons and start squeezing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make circus lemonade?

Circus lemonade is a type of lemonade that is usually sold at carnivals and fairs. To make circus lemonade, you will need to combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and water. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking. You can also add some ice cubes and garnish with a slice of lemon.

How is fizzy lemonade made?

Fizzy lemonade is made by adding carbonated water or soda to regular lemonade. You can make your own carbonated water by using a soda maker or you can buy it at the store. To make fizzy lemonade, simply mix the lemonade and carbonated water in a glass and stir gently. You can also add some ice cubes and a slice of lemon for garnish.

How to make Coachella lemonade?

Coachella lemonade is a type of lemonade that is sold at the Coachella music festival. To make Coachella lemonade, you will need to combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and water. You can also add some strawberries or raspberries to give it a fruity flavor. Add some ice cubes and garnish with a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint.

How is British lemonade made?

British lemonade is a type of carbonated lemon-flavored soft drink that is popular in the UK. To make British lemonade, you will need to combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and water. You can also add some carbonated water or soda to give it a fizzy texture. Add some ice cubes and garnish with a slice of lemon.

What is the difference between lemonade and lemonade shake-up?

Lemonade shake-up is a type of lemonade that is made by shaking lemonade, ice, and sugar in a cocktail shaker. The difference between lemonade and lemonade shake-up is that lemonade is usually made by mixing lemon juice, sugar, and water in a pitcher, while lemonade shake-up is made by shaking the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Lemonade shake-up is usually served in a plastic cup with a lid and a straw.

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State Fair Lemonade Recipe: How to Make the Classic Refreshing Drink at Home

State Fair Lemonade Recipe

  • Author: CookesRecipes
  • Prep Time: 15 Mins
  • Additional Time: 4 hrs 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 Mins
  • Total Time: 4 hrs 45 mins
  • Yield: 11/2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Drinks & Cocktails
  • Cuisine: American


Try our refreshing taste of summer with our State Fair Lemonade Recipe. A classic drink that captures the essence of fun-filled fair days!


  • 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour through a mesh strainer back into the same bowl and discard the zest. Let cool to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice into the bowl.
  6. Pour lemonade into a serving pitcher; cover and chill thoroughly before serving over ice, at least 2 hours.


  • For the best flavor, use fresh, ripe lemons. Look for lemons with vibrant yellow skin.
  • If your lemons feel waxy, give them a good scrub under hot water before using. This helps remove any wax or residue.
  • Adjust the amount of lemon juice and sugar to suit your taste. If you prefer a sweeter lemonade, add more sugar, and for a more tart flavor, add extra lemon juice.
  • Don’t rush the step of letting the lemon zest sit in sugar. Allowing it to infuse for at least 2 hours, or even overnight, enhances the lemony flavor of the lemonade.
  • To speed up the cooling process after dissolving the sugar, you can place the mixture in the refrigerator for a quicker chill.
  • If you prefer a smoother lemonade without pulp, strain the freshly squeezed lemon juice before mixing it with the sugar and water.
  • Serve the lemonade over ice for a refreshing and thirst-quenching beverage, especially on a hot day. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 1038kcal
  • Sugar: 258.7g
  • Sodium: 43mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 282.4g
  • Fiber: 9.7g
  • Protein: 3.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: State Fair Lemonade Recipe, State Fair Lemonade