We Tried 7 Brands to Find the Summer’s Most Refreshing Lemonade

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Summer has us craving the very best lemonade—tart, sweet and so refreshing. Find out which brands we want to kick back on the porch with this summer!

Editors Picks Lemonade 1200x800

When the dog days of summer hit, there’s one thing I crave above all others: an ice-cold glass of lemonade. No afternoon at the pool or relaxing day on my patio is complete without it. When I’ve got the time, homemade lemonade is a real treat, but after a long day of gardening or just a little too much time in the sun, I’m not in the mood for any extra work. That’s when a good store-bought lemonade comes in. But I admit, not every glass is the same—some can be too sugary or too tart.

That’s why I wanted to put some of the brands I’ve tried (plus some new ones) to the test. Along with a dedicated testing crew, I tried these popular brands:

  • Full Circle Market, an organic option
  • Market Pantry, available exclusively at Target
  • Minute Maid Premium
  • Newman’s Own
  • Simply Lemonade
  • Simply Nature, an Aldi brand
  • Trader Joe’s

Let’s see which one is worthy of our afternoons on the porch.

The Best Lemonade Brands

Honorable Mention: Minute Maid Premium

Score: 7.6/10

Is it any surprise that the biggest name in lemonade got high marks in our tasting? Minute Maid Premium had a bit more mild of a flavor—not too acidic or sweet—which was a big hit with a handful of testers. Some folks said that lighter flavor made it more refreshing and a great option for quenching your thirst after a long day in the sun.

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Runner-Up: Full Circle Market

Score: 8.3/10

Falling just short of first place was organic option Full Circle Market. This lemonade had by far the most powerful lemon taste of all those we tested—perfect for people that love all things tart (just like these tasty recipes). We found that the pronounced lemon flavor really made us feel like it was summer, even inside the Taste of Home offices. For folks looking for something a bit less acidic, you might want to go with our number one pick.

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Best in Show: Simply Lemonade

Score: 8.9/10

After comparing all of the brands, Simply Lemonade was the brand we wanted to relax in a hammock with. This lemonade was incredibly refreshing. Testers found that while sweet, thanks to real cane sugar, this option was balanced with some serious lemon tartness. We also found this option tasted the freshest of them all—likely thanks to the fresh lemon (no juice concentrates here!).

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The Takeaways

Our major takeaway with this test is that ingredients matter! When it comes to finding the best lemonade, the fewer ingredients the better. Our top picks in this test were made with water, sugar and lemon juice—no high fructose corn syrup to be seen. In our panel’s opinion, this real sugar and real lemon flavor made all the difference. It made our top picks taste fresher and more authentically sweet. So even if you’re not opting for our top picks, be sure to keep an eye out for quality ingredients.

Make lemonade from scratch with these recipes.
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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.