Homemade Pink Lemonade

Soooooooo. It’s still summertime. You know…sunshine (even here in the Pacific Northwest!), warm weather, shorts and tanks, kids home from school.

Kids home from school.

I see so many of my friends who are so excited for summer break because the kids will be home, and I always get confused. Not that I don’t love the kiddo and enjoy hanging out with him and all, but it gets exhausting having to keep them entertained all the time.

Yes, even at 16 years old, they still demand that you entertain them. At first, and often throughout the summer vacation, it’s fun and enjoyable. But as time wears on and he still hasn’t been able to find a job and all of his friends are working and all he wants to do is play on the playstation when you’re trying to watch Firefly reruns educational shows about history and stuff, or talk to you while you’re concentrating on making a treat look just right, or bumps you or your table while you’re trying to take that perfect photo…you quickly remember why school is such a glorious thing.

Actually, it’s usually better than this for us, but since this is a transfer year, we don’t get to take any trips or vacations over summer, so the kiddo and I have to make due. Easier for him, since he had time to make friends before school let out. I force him outside as much as possible, but like I said, his friends have found summer jobs, so on the occasion that the time he spends with those friends is spent over head phones on the couch while he plays Call of Duty and shouts things like, “DO IT FOR THE LOLZ!” and “I GOT THIS, SON, DONCHOO WORRY! DONCHOO WORRY! … DONCHOO WORRY!” and weird strung together mumbo jumbo like “OH MAN HE’S GOT THE FMG, QUIT CAMPING LIKE A LOSER, CARE PACKAGE, HIT MARKER!” Well, things aren’t very entertaining. It’s like he has some weird form of war time Tourettes.

I haven’t thrown in the towel, though. He looked everywhere for a job, but nowhere is hiring, so I’m paying him to work for me. Starting today, he becomes my assistant. This is either pure genius or pure insanity. It’s too soon so say, so here’s a fantastic recipe for you to enjoy…and here’s hoping it isn’t the last of the summer. ;)

I’m sharing this recipe today because the Hubster and I went to a nearby market this past Saturday and tried some raspberry lemonade. There was a long line, and we saw people everywhere carrying the drinks around, so we figured it must be delicious. We shelled out several bucks for one drink to share, sipped, and…were totally let down.

First of all, the cup was so full of ice and fruit that, in the end, we barely had a serving to share. Even worse, though, was the fact that it tasted like poorly flavored, very watered down, boring lemonade (barely). There was just a little hint of raspberry, only slightly more lemon flavor, and hardly enough sugar. The drink was neither sweet nor tart…it was just…blah.

We were so confused as to why so many people were handing over their cash for such mediocre drinks. Just a few days before, after having made some strawberry marshmallows, we used the leftover purée to make strawberry lemonade, and it was really wonderful, so I decided to share the recipe today.

I’ve been making raspberry and strawberry lemonade for years, and I’m sure there are tons of pink lemonade recipes out there, and they’re probably all very similar, but I’m adding mine to the mix anyway, because it’s my family’s favorite summertime drink (besides butterbeer), and because I know it’s delicious and flavorful. It’s got plenty of lemon and berries to make it tart and full of fresh fruit flavor, and a healthy dose of sugar fr a perfect sweet-tart balance.

The key to really making this delicious is lots of fresh fruit. You can definitely taste the difference between the real thing and artificial flavors.

You can also use frozen fruit, but seriously, have you seen the price of frozen berries lately? If you have access to fresh, it’s actually a better value.

I’ve made this recipe using strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and they were all wonderful. Raspberry is always my particular favorite, but I love each flavor.

The purée is very simple. All you have to do is purée the berries in a blender or food processor until smooth, then press them through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Each of these berry options have a lot of seeds, and I’ve found that the lemonade is much more enjoyable without them. Sieving the purée is easy; just use a spatula to press the purée through until you only have seeds and some skin/pulp leftover.

Next, you’ll stir some lemon juice and sugar into the now smooth purée. The recipe makes two cups of sweet purée, which is enough for a gallon of lemonade. Plus, the purée can be used in other recipes, such as the strawberry marshmallows from my Neapolitan Smores.

This will keep in the refrigerator, in an air tight container, for at least 10 days.

Now all you have to do is make your favorite lemonade recipe and stir in some of the purée to taste. Or you can use the recipe I’ve included below. It’s sweet and tart, full of flavor, and refreshing. Plus, it’s pink. You can’t go wrong with pink. :)

If you’re really lucky, you’ll add these adorable Daisy cut lids and stripey straws from the TomKat Studio. Seriously, could these little jars of lemonade be more adorable? These would be fantastic for a kiddo’s birthday party, a baby shower, or wedding shower…they’d be perfect for any summer party. :)

Serve these in fun jars and mismatched glasses, throw in some fresh fruit and ice, and enjoy!

Strawberry (or Raspberry) Lemonade
Makes 1/2 gallon

Ingredients

FOR THE PURÉE (Makes 2 cups, which is enough for 2 recipes of lemonade)
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced (or substitute fresh raspberries or blackberries)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (1 oz. or 30 grams) fresh lemon juice

FOR THE LEMONADE
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 cups cold water
1 cup fresh strawberry (or raspberry or blackberry) purée

To make the purée: Place the sliced berries in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth (or purée in a blender). Press the puréed berries through a fine mesh sieve; discard the seeds.

In a large bowl, stir the purée, lemon juice, and sugar together until combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

To make the lemonade: Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a large pitcher and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the water and purée, stirring to combine. Garnish with fresh lemon slices and berries, if desired. Serve chilled.

Recipe by Darla

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Comments

  1. says

    Just what I needed today! I bought the only can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate available at my local grocery store last week (is it not lemonade season in Chicago??) and was super disappointed… it barely tasted like anything. I’ll be making your version this week for sure.

  2. says

    Wow! Your strawberry lemonade and wondeful pictures have actually made my mouth water! If only it was sunny here, we have had nothing but rain in the UK for months, summer seems to be missing…maybe a little strawberry lemonade will help lol. x x

  3. says

    Those people waiting in line obviously haven’t had something as yummy as what your recipe looks. I dislike that when I wait in a long line, anticipating the yummyness and then meh. Thank you for the recipe. although the clouds have rolled in today in our lovely Portland City, the sun will return and I shall be sipping this :)

  4. says

    I actually dread the school holiday when the kids are at home non-stop for 6 whole weeks. I love spending time with them and such but, like you, keeping them entertained is a huge struggle and once my kids get bored, they end up fighting! Gah!

    The strawberry lemonade looks so delicious. I’m definitely going to try this but I don’t expect it’ll stay in the fridge for 10 days, 10 minutes maybe! I think I’ll be going for the raspberry option too. Or maybe strawberries and raspberries. Hmm. I love it perfectly sugary and tart too so this is right up my street. Thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    That looks great :) I will so be making this for my sister’s birthday in October which will be spring here in Australia. Hiring your (step) son to work for you is a great idea! On a side not I made your cinnamon scroll cupcakes ages ago but tweaked the recipe a heap (used my favourite cake recipe did a few other things but the concepts still the same) so its not really recognisable! But they are sooooo good and a hit! When ever I make them they go really quickly and I even turned them into a large cake which worked really well!

    I have a few questions unrelated to baking (you don’t have to answer them if you don’t want but they have been on my mind for awhile) does kiddo go to his Mum’s house at all and how does that work with your hubby being in the army? Do you want to have kids of your own (yes I know this personal but I have been wondering ever since I stumbled on your blog ages ago!)? How do you and kiddo cope with your hubby being away heaps do you drive each other mad? Please don’t feel like you have to answer them but they have been on my mind for ages :)

  6. Jessica says

    So, I tried this recipe today. Was very excited at the thought of pink lemonade, actually had never had it before. So I made the purée and squeezed my lemon juice. All was going well till I added 5litres of water. Not sure what I was thinking, only that I wanted to hurry and get it done as I had to put my daughter down for her nap. I tasted the lemonade and it was very week and not sweet at all, found myself quite disgusted with your recipe. So I added another half cup of lemonjuice, and it tasted slightly better, but not much. Figured maybe adding the strawberries would help, so I did that. It didn’t taste too bad, but there was no lemon tang that I was looking for. I vowed never to do this recipe again, will try another recipe next time. And off I went and put my daughter to bed. As I was feeding her it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, your recipe said 5cups, not 5litres! It wouldn’t be the first time I have been so silly! So with great trepidation, after putting the little one down for her nap I crept back into the kitchen and had a look. sigh…. Since it doesn’t actually taste too bad, am shipping half of it off to my mothers house, will drink the rest and will most definitely try this recipe again, this time reading it properly! Am sure it will then taste like I think it’s meant to :-)

Trackbacks

  1. […] A chilled glass of fruity Lemonade on a hot summer day is bliss and while Classic Lemonade remains a firm fav, we love these creative twists. A subtle infusion of lavender and mint adds a wonderful flair. Try Lavender Lemonade for yourself (go to recipe). Homemade Pink Lemonade is another delight you are certain to enjoy. The key ingredient to this gem is fresh strawberries which are pureed and used to transform regular lemonade to something refreshing and perfectly pink. Find the recipe here. […]

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