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Pink Lemonade ~ bright, tart and lightly sweet, this lovely pink hued summer beverage is very refreshing and super easy to make!
Lemonade is a very popular summer beverage but we don’t often see pink lemonade on the picnic table anymore. The pink hue comes from a splash of good-for-you cranberry juice, so there are no artificial colors in this recipe! Feel free to customize your lemonade by making it a little sweeter, or add more cranberry juice for a deeper pink color. Be sure to use fresh lemons for the best flavor.
Real deal lemonade is meant to be tart, so pucker up!
Now days our soft drinks and prepackaged juices have gotten so sweet I think we’ve forgotten what the natural flavors of lemon and cranberry taste like. That may seem like an odd statement from a baker than posts dessert recipes on a weekly basis, but one dessert a week seems okay to me as long as we don’t make a habit of sugar laden drinks and treats several times each day. Lemons naturally promote hydration, are good for your skin, and are also loaded with vitamin C. Don’t forget all the health benefits of cranberry juice too!
Recently, I introduced one of my granddaughters to The Sound of Music. In one of the scenes Captain von Trapp is outside on the patio with his friend Max and soon-to-be fiancé Elsa. They are sharing a pitcher of pink lemonade and the Captain comments that he thinks he is brave enough to try a glass. You don’t have to be brave to try a glass of this lemonade – you’re going to love it!
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (strained - about 12 lemons)
- 4 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice (more or less)
Make a simple syrup by combining the granulated sugar with 2/3 cup of water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside on a rack to cool.
While the simple syrup is cooling, juice the fresh lemons. Strain the juice into a 2-cup measure or small bowl, and discard the seeds and solids. Strain again over a pitcher to serve. Add the cold water, cranberry juice and cooled simple syrup to the pitcher with the lemon juice. Stir well to combine.
Serve the lemonade poured over ice garnished with fresh lemon slices if desired.
I would plan on 10-12 lemons for this recipes. Since the size and juiciness of lemons vary greatly, better to have more than not enough. If you have any remaining lemons, slice thinly for a garnish.
Roll the room temperature lemons under your palm on a hard countertop to help release their juice.
Don't add ice to your pitcher as it will dilute the lemonade.
If you or your guests prefer a sweeter lemonade, increase the amount of simple syrup you make and have the extra available to stir into each serving as needed.
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I love my inexpensive set of strainers and this sturdy juicer – click on each photo for more information:
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If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our terrific Frozen Strawberry Lemonade recipe from the SRFD archives. For a summer grown-up drink, don’t miss our Frozen Strawberry Margarita that tastes more like a fantastic sorbet. Jennifer at Seasons & Suppers posted this beautiful Cold Brewed Iced Tea with Fruit – and I can’t wait to give it a try. And finally, don’t miss this gorgeous Blueberry Lemonade from Sue at The View from Great Island.
To all our American readers – we hope you have a safe, happy and wonderful 4th of July holiday! Thanks so much for stopping by!