hard lemonade featured image
Looking for a light and refreshing summer cocktail? You just found it. This hard lemonade recipe is the perfect homemade drink for happy hour on a hot summer day!
Jump to Recipe
Table of Contents
  1. Hard Lemonade (Spiked & Homemade)
  2. Why We Love This Recipe
  3. Ingredients/Shopping List
  4. How to Make This Hard Lemonade Recipe
  5. Variations / Options / Add-ins
  6. Tips
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. Other Delicious Cocktail Recipes
  9. Hard Lemonade Recipe

Our Homemade Hard Lemonade recipe is better than anything that you can buy! A little sweet, a little tart, and a nice kick of vodka! This spiked lemonade recipe is the perfect homemade drink for happy hour on a hot summer day!

hard lemonade hero image

Hard Lemonade (Spiked & Homemade)

My girlfriends and I love to have happy hours together! A few years back, we decided to forego the restaurant/bars and opted to have happy hour at our homes. We switch off hosting and making fun cocktails, so I’m always coming up with fun new drinks. This hard lemonade recipe was an absolute hit. 

This adult version of lemonade is like a homemade Mike’s Hard Lemonade, only better. It’s made with super fresh ingredients and you can add in different flavors to change it up each time. It’s the perfect refreshing summer cocktail to sip outside on a hot day.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make
  • Light and refreshing summer drink
  • Cheaper to make at home 
  • Simple, short list of ingredients
  • Adult version of lemonade
  • Great for a happy hour at home
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Only takes 15 minutes to prep
  • Easy to double or triple for a group
hard lemonade in a bottle jar

Ingredients/Shopping List

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4-5 large lemons)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces Vodka (good quality)
  • 3 ounces Lemoncello lemon liquor
  • Sparkling water
  • Fresh lemon slices for garnish

SEE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW

How to Make This Hard Lemonade Recipe

This recipe will come together in just 15 minutes. Let it chill in the fridge and serve it in your favorite cocktail glass over ice! 

Juice lemons and pour into a large mason jar or pitcher.

pour lemonade into large mason jar

Combine water and sugar and heat on low until sugar dissolves. Pour the sugar mixture into the lemon juice.

pouring the sugar mixture into the mason jar

Add 1 cup of water and stir well.

add water into the mason jar

Add shots of vodka and limoncello. 
Pro-tip: If you do not care for vodka, light (or clear) rum is also a tasty choice in this recipe.

Add shots of vodka and limoncello

Place in the refrigerator to chill. To serve, pour mixture over ice and add sparkling water.

lemonade with lemon in a jar

Variations / Options / Add-ins

  • LEMONADE: I like to use fresh lemons and juice them myself. I truly think it yields the best flavor in this recipe. But, if you do not want to juice fresh lemons, you can use a good quality fresh made lemonade from your local grocer.  Just omit the addition of the sugar and water in the recipe. 
  • VODKA: You do not have to use top shelf vodka but I do, however, recommend using a good quality one that you enjoy drinking.
  • LIMONCELLO: If you do not have Lemoncello liqueur, you can easily substitute it with 4 tablespoons frozen lemon juice concentrate and add an additional 3 (1 ounce) shots of vodka.
  • SPARKLING WATER: You can use a plain type of soda water, or you can mix things up and use a flavored type of sparkling water. I love using LaCroix waters and adding in a new flavor each time I make this drink. 

Tips

  • You can easily double or half this recipe according to how many people you are serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lemoncello?

Lemoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that is produced and made famous in Southern Italy. Lemoncello is made from the zest of the lemon being stepped until the oils are released. It is then mixed with simple syrup and the result is a delicious lemon liqueur.
If you ever get the chance to visit the Amalfi Coast, you will see Lemoncello stores and tasting rooms everywhere!

How to store leftover Hard Lemonade

This concentrate mixture can be stored, in the jar with a tight fitting lid, for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. You could also freeze the mix for a hard lemonade style slushie, similar to my Strawberry Frosé recipe. It’s especially refreshing this way!

Are there any changes I can make to the recipe?

You can change up the flavors of this recipe by adding fruits like blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries. Think about all of the flavors of Mike’s Hard Lemonade that exist! This is like a homemade version of hard lemonade that’s even better and more fresh. So, the sky’s the limit as far as flavors of hard lemonade you can make.

hard lemonade on a glass

Other Delicious Cocktail Recipes

Frosé (Frozen Rosé Recipe) | Classic Hot Toddy | Boozy Popsicles | Strawberry Mint Moscow Mule | The Best Rainbow Sangria Recipe | Boozy Frozen Lemonade | Texas Tea | Pineapple Rum Punch

5 from 1 vote
hard lemonade featured image

Hard Lemonade

Serves — 4
Looking for a light and refreshing summer cocktail? You just found it. This hard lemonade recipe is the perfect homemade drink for happy hour on a hot summer day!
Prep Time 15 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 4-5 large lemons
  • cups water divided
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces Vodka good quality
  • 3 ounces Lemoncello lemon liquor
  • Sparkling water
  • Fresh lemon slices for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Juice fresh lemons with a hand or electric juicer, then pour the juice into a 32 ounce (1 quart) sized mason jar. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine ½ cup of the water and the sugar.  On low heat, simmer just until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Pour the sugar water (simple syrup) into the mason jar with the lemon juice.
  • Add the remaining 1 cup of water and stir well.
  • Add the shots of vodka and limoncello liquor.  Mix well.  At this point you can put a lid on the jar and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours or until you are ready to make individual servings.
  • When ready to serve, fill a 16 ounce (1 pint) sized mason jar with ice and a couple fresh lemon slices.  Pour in lemonade concentrate until about ¾ full then top with sparkling water.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
This concentrate mixture can be stored, in the jar with a tight fitting lid, for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. You could also freeze the mix for a hard lemonade style slushie, similar to my Strawberry Frosé recipe. It’s especially refreshing this way!
Important Notes:
  • You can easily double or half this recipe according to how many people you are serving.
  • If you do not care for vodka, light (or clear) rum is also a tasty choice in this recipe.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

Related Recipes

Secrets to Quick & Easy Desserts
FREE EMAIL BONUS
How to make delicious desserts in no time at all!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?