Nothing says summer more than a tall glass of ice cold homemade lemonade! This is a very easy Pink Lemonade that you can color naturally, without any food coloring, while adding more flavor. I love to use strawberries but you can use raspberries, watermelon, or cranberries to achieve the pink color.
If you like to make lemonades in the summer, make sure to try my Peach Lemonade as well!
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Pink Lemonade is a childhood classic for so many of us. During the hot summer months, I don’t know if anything is more refreshing than lemonade of any kind… But isn’t it all the more enjoyable when it’s pretty and pink?
Pink Lemonade and summer go together hand and hand and bring out our best childhood memories. We always make the batch to keep in the fridge because homemade is so much better and tastier! My family loves it when I use strawberries but you can swap them out for raspberries, watermelon, or even cranberries.
All you need to make this lemonade are three ingredients and water! So grab some fresh berries, lemons, and sugar at the store next time you have a craving. You’ll need about eight ripe lemons to yield the perfect amount of juice. Like I said, it’s all natural here – no artificial colors or flavors here!
What is Pink Lemonade?
Pink Lemonade is a classic summer drink. You probably drank it as a kid all the time and even preferred it to regular lemonade. In truth, what made it pink was really just some red food coloring.
The flavor of pink lemonade was actually the same as regular lemonade! But once it was colored pink, it seemed more attractive to kids.
This recipe differs from your usual Pink Lemonade as the color and additional fruity flavor comes from strawberries as opposed to red food coloring.
Lemons– You’ll need the freshly squeezed juice from about eight ripe lemons. Don’t use bottled lemon juice or any other lemon juice from concentrate! Fresh lemons are always best to lemonades, limoncello, in baked goods, sauces, and basically in everything.
Sugar – White granulated sugar is a simple choice for sugar. If you need to substitute for an artificial sweetener, just remember that it WILL change the flavor and there are other negatives associated with artificial sweeteners. (Do your research!) If you want to use a more natural sugar option, use raw sugar or turbinado. Just note, it does take a little bit longer to dissolve.
Strawberries – it’s always best to use fresh strawberries. Frozen strawberries do loose some color and flavor.
PRO TIP: Other options instead of strawberries include raspberries, cranberries, or watermelon. See the FAQ notes below to learn how to use each one.
How To Make Pink Lemonade
Cook the strawberries.
Add water to a pot. Chop the strawberries in half, then add them to the water.
Bring the water to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat to low and allow the mixture to cook for about 20 minutes.
Juice the lemons.
While the strawberries cook, juice your lemons. You can use any juicer, hand-held or an automatic. Make sure to strain lemon juice through a fine mesh strainer.
Strain the strawberries.
Spoon the cooked strawberries out of the water and give them a gentle squeeze to get the juice out. Discard the cooked strawberries.
Mix together the ingredients to make your Pink Lemonade.
Add the two cups of sugar to the hot strawberry water. Keep cooking at a low temperature just until the sugar has dissolved.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the strawberry water to cool off.
Combine the sweet strawberry water and fresh lemon juice. Transfer the Pink Lemonade to a glass container or pitcher and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. Enjoy!
Make sure to pick out lemons that are tender to the touch but not too soft, or they will be over 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.
PRO TIP: Juice lemons that are at room temperature! They will give you more juice than cold lemons.
Raspberries: use raspberries the same exact way as strawberries. You will just need to strain the raspberry flavored water through a fine mesh strainer.
Cranberries: use cranberries the same as strawberries and raspberries, by cooking them in water. Note that cranberries do have bitter notes so you can use less of them if you wish.
Watermelon: you do not need to cook the watermelon! If you want to use watermelon juice, simply puree a little more than 1 cup of watermelon chunks in a food processor and then strain it through the fine mesh strainer. Reduce the water by 1 cup and then add 1 cup of watermelon juice to cooled sugar water.
Make sure to keep your lemonade in an air-tight liquid storage container that is glass or plastic. You can even store it in a pitcher, if it has a lid. In an airtight container in the refrigerator, Pink Lemonade will stay good for up to a week.
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Pink Lemonade Recipe
- 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice about 8 ripe lemons
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 2 quarts water
- 8 oz strawberries*
- Add water to the pot, chop strawberries in half, and add them to the water.
- Bring water to simmer, lower the heat to low, and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes.
- Cut the lemons in half and use a juicer (hand or automatic) to juice the lemons.
- Strain the strawberries out of the water and give them a little squeeze to get the juice out. Discard the cooked strawberries.
- Add sugar to the strawberry water and keep cooking on low until sugar is dissolved. Take the pot off heat and let it cool down.
- Combine sweet water and lemon juice. Transfer into a glass container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Store homemade lemonade in a glass or plastic container with air-tight lid, in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it will last up to a week.
- You can also use raspberries or cranberries the same way, instead of strawberries.
- To use watermelon: you do not need to cook the watermelon! To use fresh watermelon juice, simply puree a little more than 1 cup of watermelon chunks in a food processor and then strain it through the fine mesh strainer. Reduce the water by 1 cup and then add 1 cup of watermelon juice to cooled sugar water.
- If you want to make it easy and not need to cook anything, use about 1/2-3/4 cup of cranberry or pomegranate juice. (Note, you will still need to heat up water to dissolve the sugar.)
- Choose the best lemons: Make sure to pick out lemons that are tender to the touch but not too soft, or they will be over 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. Juice lemons that are at room temperature! They will give you more juice than cold lemons.