Skip to Content

Homemade Lemon Shake Up Recipe

I just love summer festivals — seeing old friends, playing games with the kids, and of course, the funnel cakes, cotton candy, fried Oreos, etc.

Oh my gosh, you guys… I had a fried cupcake at our Labor Day festival last night! It was amazing, if not a bit over the top, but perfect for sharing.

However, as much as I love all of the sweets, my absolute favorite fair food has to be the lemonade shake ups. There’s just something about those icy cold, sweet and sour beverages. They’re so refreshing on a hot summer day! Though it nearly kills me to pay their astronomical prices, I just can’t help but cave every time.

So I set out to figure out how to make a lemon shake up at home. You’re totally going to want to make these at your Labor Day cookouts tomorrow when you see how easy they are!

How To Make A Lemon Shake Up

To make this lemon shake up recipe, you’ll need a quart size mason jar, half of a large lemon (or a whole smaller one), granulated sugar, ice and water. Sounds simple enough, right?

First things first, wash your lemon extra well because you’ll want to leave the rind in your lemon shake up. Pour 1/4 cup of sugar into the jar, and using a citrus reamer, juice half of a large lemon on top of it.

Give the leftover lemon rind a good squeeze to release the essential oils, and toss it into the jar, as well. Add about one cup of ice, and then fill the jar up to the 16-oz. mark with water.

Place a canning lid and band on the jar, and close it tightly. Shake it vigorously until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Lemon Shake Ups

You could serve it right in the mason jar with or without a straw (I prefer with), or I found these cute Insulated Mason Jar Tumblers at Walmart the other day. They’re made by Aladdin, and they hold the amount that this lemon shake ups recipe makes perfectly!

Lemon Shake Up Recipe

Clearly I should have purchased more than two, though. I had to hunt these down for my photos, because my girls keep taking them. Don’t you guys buy them all up before I make it back to Walmart!

Lemon Shake Up Recipe

Lemon Shake Up Recipe

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1/2 of a large lemon (or a whole smaller lemon)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup water


  1. Wash your lemon well, roll it around on the countertop to make it easier to juice, and then cut it in half.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup of sugar into a quart size mason jar. Using a citrus press, squeeze the juice of half a large lemon into the jar. If your lemons are smaller, add the juice of the whole lemon.
  3. Give the lemon rind a good squeeze to release the essential oils, and toss it into the jar.
  4. Add about one cup of ice on top of the sugar and lemon, and then fill the jar up with water to the 16-oz. mark.
  5. Place a canning lid and band on top of the jar, and secure it tightly. Shake the jar vigorously until all of the sugar is dissolved, and serve ice cold.

How much did you LOVE this recipe?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #unsophisticook!

I should note that it’s not required that you use a mason jar, although it’s my preferred method since you can use the markings on the jar instead of measuring things out. Any container with a lid that holds 16-oz. plus some room for shaking will work. Just make sure it closes tightly before you start shaking.

P.S. If you’re looking for a lemonade recipe for a thirsty crowd, try this fresh-squeezed homemade lemonade!

If you like copycat recipes, you might also like these other posts:

What’s your favorite fair food — and have you ever tried to make it yourself at home?


Tuesday 28th of July 2015

Sounds good. About to make one now. I use the same amounts except for lemon. I use two whole lemons. Yummy.

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Tuesday 28th of July 2015

Yeah, you definitely have to play around with the amount of lemon sometimes. Some lemons are sweeter than others, and I actually like mine a little more tart, too!


Thursday 12th of September 2013

So cute! These look adorable, and I love that you shake them.


Thursday 12th of September 2013

Love those jars and this easy and fun drink!

Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

Thursday 5th of September 2013

What a great summer drink, and so much fun for the kids!

The bees

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

What's the difference between this and lemonade ?

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

There's no difference really -- it's just the method that vendors use to make individual servings of fresh lemonade at fairs and festivals around here.

Skip to Recipe