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Homemade Lemon Shake Up Recipe

Get the refreshing, sweet tart taste of summer festivals in the comfort of your own home with this easy Homemade Lemon Shake Up Recipe!

Now you can have all the flavor of a summer festival at your house. This Homemade Lemon Shake Up Recipe is fabulous and so easy to make!

Every summer, I look forward to our annual trip to the Ohio State Fair. I’ve been going to the fair since I was a little girl. Back then, I could eat a funnel cake, a huge cup of fair fries doused in vinegar, and a 16 ounce cup of Crystal Light, then hop on the Tilt a Whirl a few dozen times. These days, that would probably end badly, but I still love strolling the midway and grabbing a deep fried buckeye or roast beef sundae to enjoy while we check out the butter sculpture and oooooh and awwww over the baby lambs.

Last year, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it to the fair since it fell on the same week as my due date. But August 1st rolled around, and though I felt like I might have to be rolled around myself, we gathered some friends and went. We had a great time touring the Agriculture building, people watching, and taking a tongue-in-cheek family photo with a corn dog at one of the many photo booths.

As it turns out, all that fair food and walking was just what our little guy needed to convince him it was time to join all the fun on the outside. I ended up going into labor that night and giving birth about 24 hours later.

It's so easy to make refreshing Lemonade Shake Ups at home with this Lemon Shake Up Recipe!

Whether I’m 40 weeks pregnant or just working on my fair food baby, I always need one thing to beat the heat at the fair–a giant Lemon Shake Up. Is there anything more refreshing or summery than a shake up? Tart, sweet, and ice cold, it’s exactly what I need to get me from the Ohio tent to the livestock shows. I always considered Lemon Shake Ups a special treat reserved only for the fair and summer festivals. Then a friend of mine told me she had a recipe for them–a recipe she got from her parents, who frequent the festival circuit.

This Homemade Lemon Shake Up Recipe is so refreshing and easy to make!

I thought there was some sort of magic involved in the lemon shake up, but it turns out it’s just good old water, sugar, lemons, and ice. Seriously, that’s it. You can make the simple syrup in advance and keep it in the fridge to have on hand any time you need an afternoon refresher. Then all you do is squeeze the juice of a lemon into a glass, add the lemon, fill with ice, top with simple syrup, cover and shake, shake, shake!

The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it as tart or as sweet as you want. I found that half a medium sized lemon was the perfect amount for an 8-12 oz. size glass. However, you can always add more lemon or more simple syrup to suit your tastes.

Get the refreshing taste of summer with this Homemade Lemon Shake Up Recipe!

Because I love the fair so much, I’m happy to be able to give the gift of the fair to one lucky family! That’s right, this weekend you and your family could be enjoying one of 32 different foods on a stick, catching a pig race, or snapping photos of your adorable little one on his first pony ride at the Ohio State Fair. The fair starts tomorrow (the 27th) and runs through August 7th. I’ve got four tickets up for grabs. To enter, just hop on over to my Instagram account and leave a comment! The giveaway closes Thursday night so make sure to enter today!

Homemade Lemon Shake Up Recipe

Prep Time 10 minsPrep Time
Cook Time
Total Time 10 mins Total Time
Yields 4


  • 1 quart water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large lemons, halved
  • Ice


  1. Bring the water to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. This mixture can be stored in the fridge for a week or until ready to use.
  2. Gather four 8-12 ounce glasses or jars with lids. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into each one then place the halves in each glass. Top with ice. Pour the sugar water over each one, to the top of the glass. Cover and then shake until thoroughly combined. Enjoy!


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These Homemade Lemon Shake Ups are so easy to make and so refreshing! Get the taste of summer festivals in your own back yard!
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  • Katie August 3, 2016, 11:57 AM

    This was just the perfect amount of sweetness and so refreshing! Next time I will add a couple of mint leaves (crushed) to the shake-up. It’s a keeper. Thanks Courtney.

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