The Very Best Lemonade Options to Fuel Your Summer

Summer has us craving the very best lemonade—tart, sweet and so refreshing. Find out which brands we want to kick back with on the porch this summer!

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Searching for the Best Lemonade

When the dog days of summer hit, there’s one thing we crave above all others: an ice-cold glass of lemonade. No afternoon at the pool or relaxing day on the patio is complete without it.

So when it comes time to cool off on those hot days, you’ll only want the very best lemonade to slake your thirst. So what are the top brands? Our Test Kitchen team had to find out!

How We Sipped and Sampled Lemonade

For this taste test, our culinary pros sipped 16 different lemonade brands—16! The brands were kept a mystery to avoid any biases our team may have had. Each was judged according to these categories:

  • Appearance: Our Test Kitchen wanted to find lemonades that looked mouthwatering when poured into a tall glass of ice. Now, color isn’t everything, but we have to admit that neon yellow or off-colored drinks definitely give us pause.
  • Balance: Lemonade is essentially just a mixture of water, lemon juice and a sweetener (usually sugar, though some brands use alternatives like honey). A good lemonade shouldn’t be too tart or too sweet.
  • Overall satisfaction: At the end of the day, the best lemonade should be delicious, tart, sweet and oh-so-satisfying.

While we sampled plenty of options, just five got universally high praise and can be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.

Simply Lemonade
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Best Lemonade Overall

Simply Lemonade

For a lemonade that’ll please everyone at your next backyard bash, add Simply Lemonade to your cart.

Pouring a glass of this lemonade, you’ll notice the homemade style right away thanks to a bit of pulp and a pale yellow hue. Tester after tester remarked how these two factors make a lemonade seem more appealing.

But what about the taste? “This has a nice, clean, bright lemonade flavor,” says our Test Kitchen’s Mark Neufang. And Mark hits it right on the head: Simply Lemonade is refreshing and has the perfect balance of tartness, sweetness and lemon flavor. In Mark’s words, “this would be great served over ice on a hot summer day.”

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Newmans Own Lemonade
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Best Tart Lemonade

Newman’s Own Lemonade

Do you like a little extra pucker in your lemonade? Get more sour power with Newman’s Own Lemonade.

According to Sarah Tramonte in the Test Kitchen, “this brand has a tartness that so many other lemonades lack.”

That’s thanks to plenty of fresh lemon juice and even a bit of lemon pulp inside. Sure, you’ll get a little sweetness—it is lemonade, after all—but Newman’s Own has that extra oomph of acidity that can be so refreshing on a hot day.

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Floridas Natural Lemonade
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Best Sweet Lemonade

Florida’s Natural Lemonade

If you prefer your lemonade on the slightly sweeter side, snag yourself Florida’s Natural Lemonade

This pleasantly pale yellow lemonade had a nice sweet finish that tasters really enjoyed. But when we say “best sweet lemonade,” we don’t mean that Florida’s Natural is overly sugary. Instead, this lemonade really has a great natural lemon flavor and plenty of acidity with just a smidgen of extra sugar to satisfy those of us that like drinks with just a touch more sweetness.

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Tropicana Lively Lemonade
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Best State Fair-Style Lemonade

Tropicana Lively Lemonade

On a hot day at the state fair (or any other outdoor festival), no one is immune to the calls of the lemonade stand. The smell of freshly squeezed lemons, the sound of the juice being shaken up over ice, the sight of the finished drink being poured into tall cups—it’s irresistible. These state fair-style lemonades taste super fresh and are often a little mild—ideal for a summer day.

For a lemonade that brings back those memories, try Tropicana Lively Lemonade.

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Minute Maid Lemonade
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Best Pulp-Free Lemonade

Minute Maid Lemonade

We get it: Not everyone likes pulp in their drinks. While this normally applies to orange juice, you’ll also find a pulp in some lemonades. For a super smooth sipping experience, try Minute Maid Lemonade.

This lemonade is wonderfully sippable. It’s milder but has that tart (not sour!) flavor we’re looking for from a tall glass of lemonade.

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Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products

Our Test Kitchen is constantly testing food, kitchen gadgets and cleaning gear looking for brands that deserve the right to be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.

If you want to fill your pantry and fridge with the best products, check out these tests:

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.