This homemade Yuzu Lemonade is sweet, tart, and super easy to make! With just four ingredients and a minute or two of prep, you can make a quick yuzu lemonade to serve straight-up or over ice.
- ✔️ Why this recipe is great
- ⭐ What is yuzu?
- 🍋 Ingredients
- 📋 How to make yuzu lemonade: step-by-step instructions
- 🥣 Substitutions and variations
- ⭐ Batching and storage
- 👨🏻🍳 Expert notes & tips
- 🌟 Other delicious drinks
- 🙋🏻♂️ Frequently asked questions
- 📖 Recipe
- Easy Yuzu Lemonade (3 Minutes)
✔️ Why this recipe is great
Quick to Make: ready in less than 5 minutes, you could easily make a huge batch to keep in the fridge for up to a week!
Kid-Friendly: though you could easily add a heavy splash of soju to make this yuzu lemonade with alcohol, it's very easy to make and pleasant to drink for both kids and adults.
Flexible Flavor: whether you use coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, palm sugar, allulose, honey, or even agave, the possibilities for swapping out sweeteners and adding flavor is endless. If looking to add an extra twist, I recommend you flavor the yuzu syrup and start your experimenting with ginger, lemongrass, or lavender, though mint is another delicious option.
⭐ What is yuzu?
Yuzu is a tart, fragrant citrus fruit native to East Asia, most aptly described as a cross between a lemon, a mandarin, and a grapefruit. It's about the size of a tangerine with a bumpy, yellow or green rind. Yuzu is prized above all for its aromatic zest and juice, which add a distinctive, tangy flavor to a variety of dishes and drinks.
It's not typically eaten raw due to its extreme sourness but is widely used in Japanese and Korean cuisine in sauces, dressings, marinades, and yuzu tea. Yuzu kosho, a spicy condiment made with yuzu zest and chili peppers, is one of the more popular Japanese exports made with yuzu.
Lemon Juice: you can't make lemonade without lemons! It's essential to use fresh lemon juice rather than the bottled stuff, if making lemonade with yuzu. While you don't absolutely have to use lemon juice to make yuzu lemonade if you have access to fresh yuzu juice, most of us will need the acidity from fresh lemon juice to give the drink a balanced flavor.
Yuzu Syrup: this floral Korean citrus is like a slightly bittersweet tangerine had a baby with a lemon. It's also quite popular in Japan, which is one of the largest exporters of yuzu products, but I'll always associate it with Korea. I've always made this lemonade with yuzu syrup made from concentrate, but you could also just use sugar and fresh yuzu juice, if available.
Sugar: beyond water and ice, the only other ingredient in this yuzu lemonade recipe is sugar, the essential sweetening ingredient, though you could use almost any other granulated sweetener. I've made lemonade with stevia, erythritol, and a blend of allulose and monk fruit sweetener, and never had an issue with the sweetness level or flavor.
See recipe card for exact quantities.
📋 How to make yuzu lemonade: step-by-step instructions
Step 1. Put all the ingredients in a glass and stir until the juices and sugar are fully dispersed.
Step 2. Then add ice to the top of the glass, or pour the mixture into a glass of ice & enjoy!
💡 Pro-Tip: for a creamy yuzu lemonade, you can swap out the sugar for an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk (or sweetened condensed coconut milk for a vegan version).
🥣 Substitutions and variations
Lemon Juice: if you can't get enough juice from your lemon, you can add extra yuzu concentrate or only use the yuzu concentrate, but just using yuzu syrup will likely be too sweet and not tangy enough. Bottled lemon juice is only a game-time substitute, if absolutely necessary, since it lacks all the tang of fresh lemon juice.
Yuzu Syrup: though I haven't personally made yuzu lemonade with fresh yuzu or frozen yuzu puree, both of those are good options in place of yuzu syrup, if it's not an option.
Sugar: while you can use almost any granulated sweetener in this recipe, I've only made it with sugar. But other great alternatives include honey, palm sugar, coconut sugar, or even erythritol for a yuzu lemonade without sugar.
- Sugar-Free Yuzu Lemonade - to make sugar-free yuzuade, simply swap out the sugar for your chosen sweetener, and either make the yuzu syrup with the same sweteener, or use the sweetener with yuzu concentrate rather than yuzu syrup. I've tried this with allulose, but you could also try it with erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit.
- Honey Yuzu Lemonade - using an equal amount of honey in place of the sugar would add a caramel sweetness to your yuzuade, while also making an even more naturally floral and slightly thicker beverage.
- Yuzu Ginger Lemonade - you can add ½ teaspoon of fresh ginger puree when you add the yuzu concentrate, but you will need to strain the lemonade before enjoying it.
- Yuzu Lavender Lemonade - adding either 3-4 drops of food-grade lavender oil or making the syrup with a tablespoon of dried lavender would make a delicious lavender yuzu lemonade.
⭐ Batching and storage
Fresh yuzu lemonade will stay good in the fridge for up to a week, but can stay good frozen in individual servings for 6+ months without losing any flavor (if frozen in large cubes and then stored in an air-tight container).
To enjoy it once frozen, you can microwave one block in a glass for 45 seconds on high, then add ice. Alternately, put a block in a glass in the fridge overnight, then add ice once defrosted. If you have access to an ice shaver, it's also fabulous when shaved into a glass and drizzled with condensed milk!
👨🏻🍳 Expert notes & tips
Other Flavors: to add a dash of other flavors or creaminess to your lemonade, consider adding them to the yuzu syrup when making it, or add them directly to the juice blend before adding the water (if using extracts or condensed milk). This will allow all the flavors to combine completely and evenly.
Using Fresh Fruit: if using fresh yuzu fruit juice, I recommend using slightly less than the called-for yuzu syrup or concentrate, and adding a few swipes of yuzu zest.
🌟 Other delicious drinks
🙋🏻♂️ Frequently asked questions
Yuzu syrup is a sweet and tangy condiment made from the juice of the yuzu fruit, sugar, and sometimes additional flavorings or ingredients like yuzu zest. It's commonly used to flavor cocktails, desserts, and sodas, providing a unique citrus note.
Yuzu's floral flavor pairs well with a variety of ingredients, including other citrus fruits and most herbs, including ginger. It also complements sweet pairings like chocolate, berries, and creamy desserts, adding a refreshing citrus note to most any rich, sweet flavor.
Yuzu is expensive due to its labor-intensive harvesting process, limited cultivation outside of Japan, and the difficulty in growing the fruit, which is sensitive to environmental conditions. Its scarcity outside of East Asia and the high demand for its unique flavor contribute to its high cost.
A common substitute for yuzu, when the fruit is unavailable, is a blend of other citrus juices such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit, which can mimic its complex flavor. Meyer lemon is often suggested as a closer alternative due to its similar balance of tartness and sweetness.
Easy Yuzu Lemonade (3 Minutes)
- 6 oz. water sparkling or still
- 3 tablespoons yuzu syrup alt. 2 tablespoons yuzu juice concentrate + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice about ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ice to top
- Put all the ingredients in a glass and stir until the juices and sugar are fully dispersed.
- Then add ice to the top of the glass, or pour the mixture into a glass of ice & enjoy! Pro-Tip: for a creamy yuzu lemonade, you can swap out the sugar for an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk (or sweetened condensed coconut milk for a vegan version).