Hard Lemonade Recipe

When life gives you lemons, you make hard lemonade of course! Summer is coming to an end, but I still want to hang on. I dug up an old homebrew recipe on making hard lemonade, also known as skeeter pee. I thought I’d share my recipe with you. I added a lavender tincture to this version, but you can opt out or add a different flavor. Here’s how to make tinctures.

What You’ll Need

  • 1/2 Gal Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Gal of Water
  • (2) 1 Gal Jugs
  • 1/8 tsp Wine tannin
  • 1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme
  • 1/4 Yeast Packet
  • 20 oz of Sugar
  • Airlock
  • Star San sanitizer

If you choose to backsweeten:

  • 6 oz of Lemon Juice
  • 8 oz Sugar


  1. Sanitize all items (including measuring cup, utensils, etc that you may use). Follow the instructions on the sanitizer bottle to mix the proper amount.
  2. Boil water and 20 oz sugar together and allow to cool room temperature.
  3. Pour this mix and lemon juice into sanitize jug.
  4. Add wine tannin.
  5. Pour yeast into juice. Many folks use wine yeast, but I use Safale S04 or S05. I measure out the correct amount (1/4 packet). You can experiment, but be sure your hard lemonade is at the correct temperature listed on the yeast packet for healthy fermentation.
  6. Add pectic enzyme to drop down the haze in your lemonade.
  7. Cap with airlock filled with sanitizer.
  8. Put the jug in a temperature controlled environment (suggested on the yeast packet) to ensure healthy fermentation.
  9. Let the jug sit 2-3 weeks.
  10. Using a siphon, transfer the cider into the second sanitized jug without siphoning the yeast on the bottom.
  11. You may choose to backsweeten, add your tincture, or enjoy as is!

If You Choose to Backsweeten:

  1. Once fermentation is completed. Add potassium sorbate and wait 24 hrs.
  2. After 24 hrs, you may backsweeten with 6 oz lemon juice & 8 oz white sugar.

If You Choose to Carbonate/Bottle:

Once the hard lemonade has completed fermentation, you can enjoy it as a still or transfer into sanitized bottles and carbonate.

What You’ll Need

  • 8-10  12 oz bottles
  • Bottle caps
  • Siphon
  • 1/8 cup Sugar or Dextrose
  • Star San sanitizer


  1. Sanitize all equipment (bottles, caps, capper, siphon, measuring cup etc.).
  2. To make priming sugar, dissolve 1/8 cup of sugar into water
  3. Add priming sugar evenly into the bottles.
  4.  Fill the content to the neck of the bottles.
  5. Cap bottles.
  6. Leave in dark, cool environment for 2 weeks.
  7. Crack bottle open and enjoy! If you’ll be storing them, place them in a fridge.


  • Have a bucket and spray bottle of sanitizer readily available to keep everything sanitized.
  • Check on your hard lemonade to make sure it’s fermenting, look for the krausen (thick layer of yeast formation) at the top.
  • Once you get the hang of making hard lemonade, you can add more/less sugar to create the ABV you’re looking for. Purchase a hydrometer so you can take the OG/FG reading. Readings help achieve the sugar content in your homebrew and distinguish when it is ready.

Author: theoutcask

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