Limeade Vs Lemonade

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Nothing really beats a cold glass of lemonade on a hot, sunny day, but for some, limeade is the summer drink of choice. Lemonade and limeade may have a fairly similar taste between them, but they definitely aren’t the same drink.

What are the differences between limeade and lemonade? As their names suggest, the main difference between limeade and lemonade is that limeade is made with limes, whereas lemonade is made with lemons. These might be both sour and tangy, but they do give their respective drinks unique flavors.

There are more differences between the two refreshing drinks than the ingredients alone, so read on to find out more about what makes them unique!

What Is Limeade?

Limeade might not be as popular as lemonade, but many people love the refreshing, sweet and tart flavor that limeade has.

In its simplest form, limeade is made with sweetened lime juice, and water, to dilute the sourness of the lime. However, limeade is most popularly served as a fizzy drink now, made with carbonated water and sweetened lime juice.

There are quite a few different versions of limeade out there, and you can easily make your own at home if you have some fresh limes available. Some limeades are sweeter, while others are a little more tart.

What Is Lemonade?

Almost everyone has had a taste of lemonade before, and you might even have your own secret lemonade recipe you make at home!

Lemonade is a sweet and sour drink made with fresh lemons and sweetened with sugar. It can be made with still water or carbonated water, to either be a still or fizzy drink.

Depending on the ratio of lemon juice to sugar used, and whether the zest of the lemon is used along with the juice, lemonade can be quite tart, or it can be balanced and sweet.

What Are The Differences Between Limeade And Lemonade?

There are a few differences between limeade and lemonade, and they are worth taking note of, so you can better decide which one you prefer!

Main Ingredient

Obviously, the main and most noticeable difference between limeade and lemonade is that limeade is made with limes, whereas lemonade is made with lemons. Both are citrus fruits, but they do have different flavors.

While other ingredients are used to make lime and lemonade, most of the flavor of the beverages come from the citrus ingredients, so the ingredients are what make the two drinks so different!


Limeade and lemonade both have a tangy citrus flavor, but that’s about where the similarity ends. Limes are tarter than lemons, and this shows up with the limeade being more tart than lemonade is.

Lemonade is less sour than limeade, as limes are generally the more sour citrus. More sugar or sweetener can be added to limeade to balance out the tartness, but it will still have a slightly more sour taste than lemonade.


It would be quite unpleasant to drink either limeade or lemonade without added sugar or added sweetener. The sugar helps to balance out the sour and tart flavors of both the limes and lemons, but the two beverages usually have a different level of sweetness.

Typically, more sugar is added to limeade as it needs more balance due to the heavier tarty flavor, and as limes are slightly sweet already, this makes quite a sweet drink.

Lemonade is a little less sweet than limeade, as less sugar is needed, but it is less tart as well, which can make it taste sweeter at times too.

However, recipes do differ, and some people just prefer more sugar added to lemonade to make it sweeter.


If you are looking to experiment with flavors a little more, then you are going to find that there are more lemonade variations than there are limeade options.

As limeade is more tart than lemonade, it does not lend itself as well to many other flavors. Most limeade variations will include a flavor such as mint.

Lemonade on the other hand, can be paired with quite a variety of flavors, and you can find variations such as pink lemonade quite easily at the store.

What Are The Similarities Between Limeade And Lemonade?

We listed all of the differences between limeade and lemonade above, but it is worth looking at the similarities between the two as well!


When you think of lemonade, you might automatically think of a yellow drink, but in its simplest, purest form, lemonade is a cloudy white color. Limeade has a very similar color and appearance too.

This is especially true for homemade limeade and lemonade drinks. The pulp and juice of both lemons and limes are a clear color, so it adds no extra coloring to the drinks.

The drinks can also be pulpy and cloudy, or clear and smooth, depending on how the drink was made.

Extra Ingredients

More than just limes and lemons are used to make limeade and lemonade. The extra ingredients added to limeade and lemonade are almost identical.

Both need water and a sweetener, such as honey or sugar. If a fizzier drink is wanted, carbonated water can be added to the pulp instead.

The sweetener is needed for both lemon and lime to balance out the tartness, although the amount of sugar needed does vary.


Lemonade and limeade both have a sour and tart flavor to them, thanks to the fruit used to make the drinks. This sour and tart flavor is why they are such popular drinks, especially when balanced out perfectly with the right amount of sweetener.

Citrus Drink

Even though they are made from different ingredients, both limeade and lemonade are fresh citrus drinks that are incredibly refreshing on a warm day.

The citrusy tang to limeade and lemonade is unlike any other, which is why they are similar to each other, and why they are so loved!

Can You Use Lemonade And Limeade In Place Of Each Other?

There is no reason you would not be able to use limeade or lemonade in place of each other, whether for a refreshing drink during the day or for making a dessert or meal.

A popular use for limeade is to make cocktails, and if you are out of limeade, lemonade would be the best substitute you could hope for. The sweet and sour flavor is so similar to limeade, although it might be more on the sweeter side.

As a replacement for limeade, lemonade works well, but you might need to add a small amount of sweetener to balance the flavors out more.

What Pairs Well With Limeade?

As limeade is quite sour and tart, not everything pairs with it well. However, it makes a really good mixer for various cocktails, and brings about that zesty flavor well.

Mint is a great ingredient to pair with limeade, but if you are looking to make it more fruity, then raspberry, cherry or strawberry pairs well with the tartness too.

For alcohol pairings, vodka and tequila are popular spirits served with limeade.

What Pairs Well With Lemonade

There are quite a few variations you can find of lemonade, which shows that it pairs well with many different flavors.

Lemonade is amazing when paired with various sweet fruits, such as cherries, blackberries and strawberries. 

To make cocktails, lemonade goes well with gin or vodka, and when mixed with fruity syrups or liquors flavored with strawberry or similar.

Limeade Vs Lemonade

Limeade and lemonade are both great options to reach for when you want something refreshing on a hot, summer’s day. The balance of sweet and tangy that both have is unmatched by any other drink!

However, limeade and lemonade, as refreshing and zesty as both are, are two different drinks with unique flavors and qualities. Limeade is made from limes, and is more tart and slightly sweet, whereas lemonade is slightly tart and sweeter.

Lemonade is the more popular drink between the two, as it is less sour, and this means it is more palatable for more people.

As both limeade and lemonade are made from citrus fruits, they can easily be substituted for one another!

Related Questions

Can you make limeade at home?

Yes, you can make limeade at home, and making it at home is a great way to balance out the flavors exactly to your liking.

You need some fresh limes, which you will juice (you can zest these for a stronger flavor), a sweetener such as honey or sugar, and water or carbonated water for a fizzier drink. You can mix these together and add more sweetener or lime juice until you find the right flavor.

How do you make lemonade less sour?

The best way to make lemonade less sour is to add in more sweetness, using a sweetener such as sugar or honey. If you do not want to add in more sweetener, you can dilute the lemonade with some water or carbonated water.

If you are making lemonade at home, add in less lemon juice or lemon zest.

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