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Sunshine in a Glass: Sugar Free Lemonade

A mason jar of sugar free lemonade garnished with fresh basil leaves

Stay refreshed with this tangy, sugar-free lemonade recipe. Made with three simple ingredients, this thirst-quenching drink is so delicious and guilt free.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

Imagine a scorching summer day – the sun is high in the sky, and you can feel the heat radiating off the pavement. Whether you beat the heat by diving headfirst into a pool full of floaties or hibernating indoors with the AC cranked up so high you could churn ice cream, this homemade lemonade is your passport to a liquid, refreshing oasis. With a blissful blend of tart lemons and natural sweetener, this summertime treat will make your taste buds think you’re sipping sunshine instead of a thirst quencher.

    

In This Article

A glass of freshly squeezed lemonade surrounded by cut lemons
Photo Credit: Canva

What is Sugar Free Lemonade?

Sugar free lemonade is a refreshing drink without any added sugar. It’s typically made using fresh lemon juice, cold water, and a zero-carb sweetener like stevia or monk fruit sweetener. This combination creates a tangy, citrusy beverage that is lightly sweet without traditional granulated white sugar.

With a low calorie count, sugar free lemonade is a delightful drink for those wanting to savor the taste of summer while also maintaining a bikini-ready beach bod. It’s perfect for a hot summer day, providing the satisfying tart sweetness of traditional lemonade without the guilt.

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Benefits of Sugar-Free Lemonade

One of the primary advantages of sugar-free lemonade is its low calorie count, making it an excellent option for those who don’t want to sacrifice taste while reducing their caloric intake. Additionally, because it is made with an alternative sweetener to granulated white sugar, highly sensitive alpha gals who must avoid sugar processed with bone char can safely use this sugar-free lemonade recipe. 

How Many Calories in Sugar Free Lemonade?

With nearly all the calories coming from freshly squeezed lemon juice, each 8-ounce serving of this sugar free lemonade has less than 15 calories.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

These are the key ingredients needed to make this sugar free lemonade recipe.

A table full of ripe lemons
Photo Credit: Canva

Lemons

Just like you can’t have a pool party without water, you simply can’t make lemonade without these zesty yellow gems. When crafting your sugar-free lemonade, the type of lemons you choose can make a difference in the final flavor. 

When most people hear the word “lemon,” they think of standard lemons, also known as Eureka or Lisbon lemons. They have a bright yellow color and a tangy, acidic flavor that is perfect for lemonade. These lemons are widely available and can be found at any grocery store.

Meyer lemons are a smaller, rounder variety of lemon with smooth skin that is a deep yellow to orange color. Native to China, Meyer lemons are a hybrid fruit that is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Because they are sweeter and less acidic than standard lemons, you may need less sweetener if you use Meyer lemons to make this sugar free lemonade recipe.

Sage Advice: Although I prefer to juice fresh lemons for this recipe, you can also use bottled lemon juice to make a pitcher of this refreshing drink even faster.

A wooden spoonful of stevia powder
Photo Credit: Canva

Sweetener

Selecting the right sweetener for sugar-free lemonade is like picking the perfect pool floatie – choose wisely, and you’re set for a sweet, smooth ride. I used organic stevia to make this recipe. Derived from the stevia plant, it is a natural, healthier alternative to traditional sugar, sweetening without the additional calories or negative effects on blood sugar levels. 

You can easily substitute any other sweetener that’s equivalent to ⅓ cup of granulated sugar. However, choosing a sugar free sweetener that easily dissolves in lemon juice and water is important. Some popular choices include monk fruit sweetener and liquid stevia.

Sage Advice: While not low-sugar options, other alpha-gal friendly alternatives to granulated sugar include agave, honey, and maple syrup. If you choose these alternative sweeteners, be sure to use a blender to incorporate them into the lemon juice since they don’t dissolve as easily as a granulated sweetener.

A glass pitcher of water and a glass
Photo Credit: Canva

Water

Along with your chosen sweetener, water is essential for converting lemons into lemonade. Without a few cups of water, lemonade would just be sweetened lemon juice – talk about a summertime buzzkill! For best results, use cold filtered water when making sugar free lemonade. This helps to enhance the overall taste and ensures a crisp and refreshing drink. However, for a unique twist, you can also use chilled sparkling water, adding a touch of bubbly to your lemonade.

How to Make Sugar Free Lemonade

Making sugar free lemonade is fast and easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Squeeze fresh lemons to produce about one cup of lemon juice.
  2. Pour the fresh lemon juice into a pitcher and stir in the sweetener.
  3. Add cold filtered water to the pitcher and stir.
  4. Enjoy sugar free lemonade over ice. Feel free to garnish your glass with a twist of lemon or a sprig of mint – or perhaps a tiny beach umbrella if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Making sugar free lemonade at home is an easy, healthy alternative to store-bought options. With just three simple ingredients, you can be sipping a refreshing, guilt-free beverage in minutes.

Sage Advice: You’ll also love this frozen lemonade. It comes together quickly in a blender and is extra refreshing on a hot summer day.

Flavor Variations for Sugar-Free Lemonade

Once you’ve mastered this homemade sugar free lemonade recipe, you can zhuzh things up with one of these flavor variations.

A basket of fresh blueberries on a wooden table
Photo Credit: Canva

Blueberry Lemonade

Add a handful of fresh blueberries to the sweetened lemon juice and muddle them before adding the water. Blueberries add a burst of fruity flavor and a vibrant blue hue to your sugar free lemonade.

Basket of Fresh Strawberries

Strawberry Lemonade

Slice some fresh strawberries and add them to the pitcher of lemonade. The berries will infuse their natural sweetness into the lemonade delivering the perfect combination of tart and sweet.

A bouquet of fresh mint leaves on a linen cloth
Photo Credit: Canva

Mint Lemonade

Crush a few fresh mint leaves and add them to your pitcher of sugar free lemonade. The refreshing flavor of mint perfectly complements the tanginess of the lemonade.

Bowl of lavender buds on a wooden table

Lavender Lemonade

For a soothing, floral lemonade option, make lavender syrup using your preferred sugar or sugar substitute. Use ⅓ cup of the lavender simple syrup in lieu of the sweetener in the recipe below.

A pile of cucumbers cut into circles
Photo Credit: Canva

Cucumber Lemonade

For a cool and refreshing twist, slice cucumbers and add them to the pitcher. The subtle cucumber flavor pairs exceptionally well with the zing of lemon.

A chunk of watermelon with heart-shaped pieces in the foreground
Photo Credit: Canva

Watermelon Lemonade

Puree some fresh watermelon and add it to the lemonade to combine the sweetness of this summer fruit with the tartness of lemon.

As you explore these flavor variations, be sure to adjust the sweetness according to your taste. 

Storing Sugar Free Lemonade

It’s hard not to drink the entire pitcher of this sugar free lemonade in one day. But if, by an impressive act of self-restraint, you do have leftover lemonade, transfer it to a sealed container before storing it in the refrigerator for up to four days. This will help to prevent any unwanted flavors or odors from seeping into the lemonade. (I’m looking at you, leftover tuna salad!) 

A mason jar of sugar free lemonade garnished with fresh basil leaves

Sugar Free Lemonade

Made with fresh lemon juice and a sugar free sweetener, sip this delightful homemade lemonade guilt free this summer.
4.97 from 132 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 5 8-ounce cups
Calories 11 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup lemon juice (approximately 4-6 lemons)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons stevia (the equivalent of ⅓ cup sugar)
  • 4 cups water

For Serving

  • ice
  • lemon wedges

Instructions
 

  • Juice the lemons to make 1 cup of fresh lemon juice. (You can also use 1 cup of bottled lemon juice.)
  • Pour the lemon juice into a pitcher and stir in the stevia powder until fully dissolved.
  • Top the sweetened lemon juice with water and stir well.
  • When ready to serve, pour the lemonade over ice in individual glasses and garnish with lemon wedges.

Nutrition

Calories: 11kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.002gSodium: 10mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.04mg
Keyword alpha-gal friendly, dairy-free, fruit, lemons, vegan, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Thank you for sharing!

18 thoughts on “Sunshine in a Glass: Sugar Free Lemonade”

  1. 5 stars
    This lemonade really hits the spot this summer. It’s been SO hot in TX so I want something to cool me down and this lemonade is perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    I have been trying to limit my sugar intake, but I just couldnt go all summer without having a sweet glass of lemonade. I ended up finding this recipe, and it was perfect! It tastes just like a great lemonade, and is just as refreshing too, but doesn’t have the sugar!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! I can make lemonade all week with the creative flavors you suggest. I think watermelon will be first. I have a ton of kids coming over on Sunday. It will be just the drink for them!

  4. 5 stars
    I’m obsessed with this lemonade. It’s so tasty! I was shocked I actually liked it too—I never drink anything that has calories in it. This is my new favorite drink.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was perfect! I’m not a fan of super sweet and sugary drinks so this lemonade was right up my alley. I will be making this on repeat all summer. Thanks!

  6. Jennifer Osborn

    5 stars
    I have a pretty serious sweet tooth so if I can have a great drink without sugar sign me up. This was perfection. I might add some watermelon or cantaloupe however, next time just for variation.

  7. 5 stars
    This was a great alternative to the regular sugary version. It was refreshing and tangy and I didn’t even miss the sugar.

  8. 5 stars
    This lemonade is so easy to make. Best of all, not having all that sugar felt really nice. I made a large pot

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