Strawberry Lemonade is the most refreshing drink you’ll make all summer! It’s a summer favorite drink for kids and adults alike and made with just four simple ingredients: fresh lemon juice, strawberries, sugar, and water. Add a touch of lime juice to enhance the flavor!
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Homemade strawberry lemonade is one of my favorite summer drinks! I first made a batch for my son’s birthday years ago when I needed something sweet, refreshing, and simple enough that everyone would like. Since making that first batch, it’s safe to say I’ve fallen in love with this drink, especially during the hot summer months.
What really makes me happy about this lemonade is that it’s not too sweet. There’s just enough sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the strawberries and balance with the sourness of the lemon juice. Plus, since you’re making this at home, you can add more or less sugar as you see fit. It’s SO much better to make lemonade from scratch than to use store-bought instant powders or jugs of lemonade.
When you buy store-bought lemonade in just about any form, you’re more than likely getting something pretty sugary with artificial flavors and preservatives. Making homemade lemonade is the best because you choose the fresh ingredients yourself! In this recipe, I also make strawberry syrup from real berries and add a splash of lime juice for even more tangy flavor. There’s a whole lot to love about every single sip!
Citrus – You’ll need a good amount of lemons, I usually get 10 to be safe. When picking lemons, make sure they are not too soft and not too hard. They should have some yield. Fresh lemons are always best to lemonades, limoncello, in lemon desserts, baked fish recipes, and basically in everything.
Strawberries – For the very best flavor, use fresh (not frozen) strawberries. If you have any left over that you don’t end up using for this recipe, use them to make my favorite summery strawberry broccoli salad and thank me later!
Sugar – 2 cups of sugar gives a nice sweetness to balance out the sourness of lemon and lime juice. But, if you’d like it sweeter, add another 1/2 cup of sugar or so.
PRO TIP: squeeze lemons that are at room temperature! They will yield more juice than cold lemons.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
How to Make Strawberry Lemonade
Strawberry sauce: Wash and cut strawberries and add them to a pot. Mix in some lemon juice and sugar (1). Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Make sure stir from time to time. Leave a little opening in the lid so the steam can escape. Then, remove the pot from the heat and set aside (2).
Lemon juice: Juice the lemons and limes (if using) into a large container (3). Strain fresh squeezed lemon juice through a fine mesh strainer (4).
Lemonade: Use a 1.5 to 2 gallon container to mix the lemonade. Combine lemon juice with cold water and then stir in the strawberry mixture (5). Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This recipe creates a lemonade that is mildly sweet. If you want to make your lemonade sweeter, you can simply add 1/2 to 1 extra cup of sugar.
Technically, pink lemonade is actually the same as regular lemonade! Pink lemonade was created as a marketing move to for sales purposes. It’s a regular lemonade that was colored pink to seemed more attractive to kids.
If you’re making homemade pink lemonade, it’s best to use natural ways to color the lemonade like strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, or cranberry.
Pick out lemons that are tender to the touch but not too soft, or they will be too ripe. Tender lemons that have some give when you squeeze them are the best ones to use for lemonade. Hard lemons are unripe and will not give you much juice at all, so avoid those entirely.
Tools For This Recipe
Citrus Juicer – had it for years, love it!
Knives that I use (not, an affiliate link)
Try More Variations
Add more citrus – to enhance the citrus flavor, you can add juice from a couple of limes and/or an orange.
Herbs – you can also play around with adding herbs like fresh basil or mint.
Make it sparkling – if you haven’t tried it, sparkling lemonade is amazing! You can substitute water with soda water, just make sure the soda water is not flavored.
Make ahead – this is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time. In fact, it’s best to make is a few hours or a day before you actually need it. Don’t add any ice and refrigerate it in the air-tight container.
Storing – Make sure to store homemade strawberry lemonade in an airtight container (like a pitcher with the lid on) in the refrigerator. It’s always best to pour some out when you need to rather than scoop some out with a ladle. Properly stored, it should last for up to 10 days.
Freezing – you can make the lemonade concentrate by combining the strawberry sauce and the lemon juice together and freeze that. Freeze the concentrate in an air-tight freezer friendly container. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator and then mix it with cold water.
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Strawberry Lemonade Recipe
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice 8-10 lemons
- 24 oz strawberries
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 gallon cold filtered water
- 2 limes – juice only optional
- 1 lemon and 1 lime for garnish optional
- Slice strawberries and add them to a medium sized pot. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and sugar to strawberries. Mix well and cook over medium heat, covered, for about 15 minutes. Make sure to leave a little opening with the lid so that the steam can escape and stir the strawberries from time to time. (Watch out for over-boiling.) Take off heat and set aside.
- PRO TIP: leave lemons on the counter to warm up to room temperature before juicing. Lemons give out more juice when they are at room temperature than cold.
- Juice lemons and limes (if using). Strain the freshly squeezed juice through a fine mesh strainer.
- Add cold water to a large drink container/pitcher/dispenser and add lemon juice.
- Add strawberry mixture, all of it, juice and berries. Mix everything well.
- It's best to refrigerate the lemonade for 3-4 hours before serving.
- Make it sweeter: This recipe creates a lemonade that is mildly sweet. If you want to make your lemonade sweeter, you can simply add 1/2 to 1 extra cup of sugar.
- Choosing lemons: Pick out lemons that are tender to the touch but not too soft, or they will be too ripe. Tender lemons that have some give when you squeeze them are the best ones to use for lemonade. Hard lemons are unripe and will not give you much juice at all, so avoid those entirely.
- Storing – Make sure to store homemade strawberry lemonade in an airtight container (like a pitcher with the lid on) in the refrigerator. It’s always best to pour some out when you need to rather than scoop some out with a ladle. Properly stored, it should last for up to 10 days.
- Freezing – you can make the lemonade concentrate by combining the strawberry sauce and the lemon juice together and freeze that. Freeze the concentrate in an air-tight freezer friendly container. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator and then mix it with cold water.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles in July 2016.