The Washington Post

Fresh Lemon Syrup

Fresh Lemon Syrup 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

May 4, 2020

This simple lemon syrup made from the lemon juice, zest, sugar and water takes minutes to put together and is great to have on hand whenever you want to fix a lemony recipes. It's great in lemonade, cocktails or to drizzle over fruit salad. To make a pitcher of lemonade, combine a cup of lemon syrup with 3 cups cold water, still or sparkling. Stir and serve, with ice, if desired. If you want a single glass, combine 1/4 cup of lemon syrup with 3/4 cup of cold water.

Storage Notes: The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

4 - 5

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-5 servings; makes about 1 cup

  • 4 medium lemons (12 ounces/350 grams total), preferably organic, or more as needed
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces/100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


Wash the lemons well. Using a Microplane zester, zest 2 lemons into a small saucepan, being careful not to scrape off any of the bitter white pith just beneath the yellow zest.

Juice the zested and unzested lemons, and strain their juice into a liquid measuring cup. You should get about 1/2 cup of lemon juice. (If you have too much, reserve it for another use; if you have too little, juice another lemon.)

Add the sugar and water to the lemon zest. Set the saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Do not let the syrup come to a boil. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve set over the lemon juice and stir to combine. (Discard the lemon zest.)

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Recipe Source

From food writer and former pastry chef Daniela Galarza.

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 90

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 1mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 22g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 21g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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