This apple lemonade only requires apple juice, fresh lemon juice and maple syrup, making it naturally vegan and paleo. It’s surprisingly refreshing and perfect for hot days.
Here’s just a very simple but tasty recipe for when you have too many lemons sitting around. I rarely have a ton of lemons that I urgently need to use up. Usually just one or two.
And this is what I always do with them! For 2 cups of apple juice, you only need 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice.
Do I have to use fresh lemon juice?
Yes, definitely! There’s no comparison in flavor between bottled and fresh lemon juice. I sometimes try to get away with using bottled for other recipes, but I usually regret it.
You can always taste a difference.
How sweet is it?
I think it’s a normal sweetness. I wrote 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of lemon juice in the recipe, but I always use 1/4 cup.
I say up to 1/3 cup in case you like things a bit on the tart side. Then you can start off with 1/4 cup and add the remaining 4 teaspoons, if you want.
Maple syrup vs. honey
We all preferred this apple lemonade with maple syrup. We thought that the honey flavor was overwhelming. You couldn’t taste the lemon or the apple, really.
I used a standard honey and not a special extra-flavorful type, so the type of honey wasn’t the issue. I also only used 3 tablespoons of honey instead of 4 tablespoons, like you do with maple syrup, and it was still too honey-flavored.
If you want your drink honey-flavored, you can certainly use it. And perhaps you should check out my honey lemonade. But for this recipe, I wanted to taste apples + lemon!
Using maple syrup was also easier because I didn’t have to spend any time dissolving it. If your honey is totally runny, then that’s not an issue.
If it’s crystallized a bit and it’s not raw honey, you can just microwave it at half power until liquified. If you want to use crystallized raw honey that you want to stay raw, you need to dissolve it in the lemon juice before adding the apple juice.
Can I use regular sugar?
Yes, you can use granulated sugar. But then you’d probably need to dissolve it before adding it to the full amount of liquid. To do that, I’d mix together just a bit of apple juice and the sugar (using the same amount), on the stovetop at low heat.
Stir until dissolved, let cool, and then pour that and the remaining ingredients into the pitcher.
I don’t recommend using coconut flavor was the flavor would overpower the apple and lemon.
Can I use apple cider?
If you’re talking about the non-alcoholic kind, then sure!
Other summer drinks for kids
I hope you’ll enjoy this apple lemonade! If you try it out, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how it came out. 🙂 Thanks!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 0 min
- Ready in: 5 min
- Yield: 2.5 cups
- 2 cups (473ml) 100% apple juice
- 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (60ml) to 1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Stir the apple juice, maple syrup and 1/4 cup (80 ml) of lemon juice in a pitcher. Taste and add the remaining 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, if desired.
- Serve. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.