This easy tequila lemonade is the drink you need for all your outdoor spring and summer parties! Prepared with just four ingredients, this tequila and lemonade cocktail makes entertaining a breeze, and every delightful sip is as refreshing as it gets. You just found your new favorite party drink, and your guests will thank you for it — this is one crowd-pleasing spiked lemonade.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
The ultimate cocktail for a hot day: This fresh-squeezed lemonade is super light with just enough tequila to give it a little kick, but it's also light enough to sip all day.
Super simple to whip up: We start with a homemade lemonade base, which couldn’t be easier to make, and then we simply stir in tequila. The beginner home bartender can easily make this tequila lemonade recipe.
Prepare it ahead of time: To ensure it’s nice and cold, it’s best to make the lemonade ahead of time. That makes any hosting duties low key and easy, so you can spend your time enjoying company while sipping on a delightful tequila cocktail.
Easily serves a crowd: One batch serves eight people, and you can easily double or triple it for bigger parties.
Bonus: If you love this tequila lemonade cocktail, I bet you’ll also love this collection of fruity margaritas. It includes my favorite raspberry margarita, blackberry margarita and coconut margarita. After all, this recipe just might remind you of drinking lemonade margaritas.
Let’s chat about these simple ingredients.
Tequila: While I usually love a reposado tequila for my margaritas, I prefer a blanco tequila. This type of tequila goes straight into stainless steel barrels while reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for two to 12 months, which gives it a richer flavor. Since lemonade is even lighter than a margarita, the more neutral flavors make it the best tequila for this hard lemonade.
Lemon juice: Make sure you use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not bottled juice. With so few ingredients, quality matters, and bottled juice is not nearly as bright and flavorful as fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Step 1: We first make a simple syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat (photo 1). Every so often, we stir to help dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, we turn off the heat and allow the simple syrup to cool.
Step 2: Now we pour the simple syrup in a pitcher along with the fresh lemon juice, tequila and water (photo 2).
Step 3: From here, we stir the lemonade to combine (photo 3).
And just like that, we have our refreshing tequila lemonade to stay cool on a warm summer night! How easy was that? Add some lemon wedges or lemon wheels to the glass and sip the night away.
For another tasty summer drink, try my Dirty Shirley cocktail!
While some recipes call for just stirring together the water, sugar and lemon juice, this isn’t the best method. It can be tricky to dissolve the sugar, so you end up with a grainy lemonade. Simple syrup starts with dissolved sugar to ensure we get a smooth texture.
Homemade lemonade should be stored in the refrigerator. To keep off-flavors from infusing the lemonade, I also recommend covering the top of the pitcher with plastic wrap.
I prefer to enjoy the lemonade within 24 hours for the best flavor because the lemon juice starts to lose its brightness. That said, it will last up to five to seven days.
Make an herbed simple syrup. Simply add a handful of herbs and allow the mixture to steep after boiling for 15 minutes. Fresh mint sprigs are especially wonderful. (See my strawberry-mint lemonade and cucumber-mint lemonade for inspiration.)
Give it a fruity touch and add a cup of fruit to the simple syrup or a cup of purée to the lemonade itself.
Want another option besides tequila? It works great with rum, vodka, gin or even bourbon.
Swap lemon juice for another favorite citrus. Meyer lemons add a nice floral quality, or you could even use grapefruit or lime juice.
For a bubbly finish, you can add a little club soda, ginger ale, ginger beer or even Champagne. A splash works for individual glasses, or you could add 1 cup of your preferred sparkling beverage in the pitcher right before serving.
Buy lemons that have some give when you press into them to ensure they’re still juicy.
Before juicing the lemons, firmly roll them on the countertop. This gets the juices flowing.
To catch any seeds, you may want to strain the lemon juice in a fine-mesh sieve before adding in the pitcher.
I find this lemonade balances the sweet and sour notes. However, if you prefer a more tart lemonade, simply add more lemon juice to your liking.
To quickly cool the simple syrup, pour it into a shallow bowl. The shallow depth will cool much more quickly than if left in a deeper saucepan. Alternatively, you can pour it in another container that sits in a bowl of ice water, also known as an ice bath.
I also love this smoked whole chicken with summer cocktails, especially this tequila lemonade. The tart lemon adds some brightness to the BBQ rub and smoky notes.
When you need the ultimate summer party cocktail, you’ll love this tequila lemonade. No summer gathering is complete without a good tequila drink, and this refresher is perfect.
Get More Tequila Cocktails
- Small saucepan
- Citrus juicer
- 5 cups water divided
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 ½ cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice not bottled juice
- 1 ½ cups blanco tequila
- Fresh lemon wheels or wedges for garnish, optional
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1 ½ cups water and the sugar to a boil, stirring every so often to help dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and allow to cool. This is our simple syrup.
- Add the simple syrup, remaining 3 ½ cups water, lemon juice and tequila to a large pitcher.
- Stir to combine the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
- The fresh lemon juice is at its brightest and most flavorful within 24 hours, but it will keep for up to three days.
- To quickly cool the simple syrup, pour it into a shallow bowl. The shallow depth will cool much more quickly than if left in a deeper saucepan. Alternatively, you can pour it in another container that sits in a bowl of ice water, also known as an ice bath.
- Buy lemons that have some give when you press into them to ensure they’re still juicy. Before juicing the lemons, firmly roll them on the countertop. This gets the juices flowing.
- To catch any seeds, you may want to strain the lemon juice in a fine-mesh sieve before adding in the pitcher.
- I find this lemonade to balance the sweet and sour notes. However, if you prefer a more tart lemonade, simply add more lemon juice to your liking. This comes down to personal preference.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.