Orangeade is a sweet, refreshing drink perfect for breakfast—or anytime of day! Orange and lemon juice are combined with a touch of honey for sweetness, then garnished with sprigs of fresh mint.
If, when you see the word “orangeade,” you think of Tang or those big jugs of neon orange “juice” from McDonald’s that they used to serve at grade school functions in 80s, let us assure you: that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Nope! This orangeade is made with real juice, sweetened with honey, and it’s not even a blinding neon color. It’s a refreshing, summery drink that’s full of bright citrus flavor and it’s easy enough for a casual weekend breakfast with the family, but fancy enough that it fits right in on a brunch menu.
About this orangeade recipe
Along with our mimosa mocktail, we love serving orangeade as a non-alcoholic drink option for brunch get-togethers. Consider it a gussied-up version of traditional orange juice.
So, when it comes to orangeade vs. orange juice? Orangeade totally wins out.
Of course, if you want to make this an alcoholic cocktail, you can easily do that. Add gin, vodka, or even champagne for something similar to a mimosa. (Or hey, you could even add beer for a twist on the beermosa!)
What you need
- Granulated sugar – You’ll be using this to make a simple syrup.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice – You’ll need 2 cups of orange juice, which is about 8 oranges. Don’t use Minute Maid or another refrigerated, frozen, or shelf-stable variety—you really need freshly squeezed!
- Lemons – again, you want freshly squeezed juice!
- Fresh mint leaves and orange slices – To garnish the orangeade.
How to make it
Make the simple syrup. Combine the sugar and a cup of water in a large pot set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat. (Here’s more about making simple syrup.)
Add the juices and honey. To the simple syrup, stir in the orange juice, lemon juice, and honey. Mix well.
Chill. Pour the remaining water into the juice mixture, stir, and pour this into a pitcher. Place the orangeade in the refrigerator and keep it there until it’s chilled and you’re ready to serve it.
Serve. Serve your orangeade with sprigs of fresh mint and orange slices.
No, orangeade isn’t the same as orange juice. Orangeade is usually made with orange juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup, while orange juice is, well, orange juice! Artificially-flavored and colored orange drinks are sometimes referred to as orangeade, too.
Store-bought orange juice may have sugars, preservatives, flavors, and other added ingredients. That’s why, for this recipe, freshly squeezed orange juice is important.
How to make this orangeade your own
Here are some ideas for switching up this recipe and making it your own:
- Adjust the sweetness. You can leave out the honey for a less-sweet orangeade, or add another 1/2 cup of sugar to the simple syrup if you’d like it even sweeter.
- Remove the pulp. Don’t want lemon and orange pulp in your orangeade? You can pour the juices through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the pulp before adding them to the syrup.
- Make it minty. Muddle the mint in the bottom of the pitcher, or add sprigs of fresh mint to the simple syrup as it simmers for a mintier flavor.
Make Ahead Ideas
You can store orangeade in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If you freeze orangeade, let it thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
More breakfast drink recipes
Get the Recipe: Orangeade
- 3 cups water, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 8 oranges)
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- fresh mint leaves and orange slices for garnish
- In a large pot over medium heat, create a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1 cup of water. Cook while stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Add the orange juice, lemon juice, and honey to the syrup; stir until well mixed.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of water and stir. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until chilled. Serve garnished with fresh mint and orange slices, if desired.
- If you don’t like your orangeade quite as sweet, omit the honey. If you want it sweeter, add an extra ½ cup of sugar into the simple syrup.
- If you don’t like pulp, the juice can be strained.
- For a more refreshing taste, mix the mint into the pitcher of juice.