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Strawberry Lemonade

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This cool refreshing strawberry lemonade has a fresh fruity taste. It’s an official summertime drink. Keep a pitcher in the fridge to help beat the heat. Make this easy pink lemonade in 20 minutes then chill. Serve over ice.

📌 PIN STRAWBERRY LEMONADE

Hand pouring lemonade into an iced down glass with strawberry syrup and 2 slices of lemon.

It’s fun and satisfying to make blended strawberry lemonade at home! It tastes just as good as Starbucks strawberry lemonade, but made at half the cost of buying the drink at one of their stores. For a spot-on Starbucks taste, add 1/4 teaspoon acai berry powder to each serving (optional).

If you grew up with pink lemonade from powdered drink mixes like Country Time, Crystal Light, or Kool-Aid, it’s time you tried something better. You deserve it. Treat yourself to the best homemade strawberry lemonade.

This drink shop recipe is super easy to make with a few fresh ingredients, some pantry staples, and ice. For kitchen tools you’ll need an immersion blender (or high-speed blender or food processor) and a beverage pitcher.

A glass of pink strawberry lemonade garnished with a sprig of fresh thyme and a lemon slice.

This recipe begins with a thyme-infused simple syrup (made on stovetop) that’s mixed with fresh lemon juice and purified water. We add homemade strawberry sauce and ice to a tall glass, then pour lemonade over the top and stir. So simple and delicious.

To elevate the presentation of strawberry lemonade, serve it in a tall glass with a slice of lemon inside the glass facing outwards. You can even add a few small strawberries as well. Garnish the drink with a sprig of thyme, then add a fresh strawberry or lemon slice on the rim.

A tall glass of strawberry lemonade garnished with fresh slices of lemon and sprig of thyme.

RECIPE TIP: For year-round enjoyment of strawberry lemonade, freeze a batch of thyme-infused simple syrup, strawberry syrup, and lemonade in ice cube trays. Then all ingredients are ready to go when you need them.

LEFTOVER PINK LEMONADE: If you have a batch of pink lemonade leftover after a party, don’t discard it. Instead, pour it into popsicle molds and freeze. Enjoy the frozen treats on a hot summer day.

Two glasses of blended strawberry lemonade on a serving tray with a jar of strawberry syrup and a carafe of lemonade in the background.

🛒 INGREDIENTS

🍋 Lemonade Base

  • Purified Water: This is the base of our strawberry lemonade. It helps dissolve the granulated sugar and dilute the tartness of the lemon juice. Rather than regular tap water, it’s much nicer to use purified tap water or bottled water.
  • Granulated Sugar: This pantry staple adds the perfect amount of sweetness to pink lemonade. When it gets dissolved in water on stovetop it creates a simple syrup.
  • Fresh Thyme: This herb has a floral, minty and slightly lemony flavor. We use whole sprigs of thyme for easy removal after steeping. Long sprigs are also ideal for garnishing glasses of strawberry lemonade.
  • Lemons: For freshly-squeezed lemon juice, any type of lemons can be used. But I prefer Meyer lemons for their amazing flavor. A cross between a lemon and mandarin orange, they’re much sweeter than the bright yellow lemons commonly found at grocery stores. Look for Meyer lemons at farmers markets, as they’re easier to find there.
  • Sea Salt: A pinch of this everyday seasoning is my tiny “secret” for the BEST-tasting strawberry lemonade. It brightens the flavor, tamps down bitterness, and boosts the level of sweetness. It makes the overall taste of this summertime drink more vibrant and delicious.
Ingredients for strawberry lemonade.

🍓 Strawberry Sauce

  • Strawberries: This delicious fresh fruit is the star of our yummy strawberry sauce. Look for firm, ripe, super red berries. When they’re not in season, use frozen strawberries instead – just thaw them first.
  • Water: Helps thin out the strawberry sauce to an ideal consistency.
  • Lemon Zest: Adds a touch of brightness to the sauce while enhancing the flavor of the strawberries.

For Serving

  • Ice Cubes: Are a must for serving this cold summer drink.
  • Lemon Slices: Add freshness, color, and luxurious look.
  • Sprigs of Fresh Thyme: A fresh herb garnish is an easy way to give glasses of strawberry lemonade an elevated presentation.
Glass of pink lemonade with fresh lemon garnish and sprig of thyme on a countertop.

👩🏻‍🍳 RECIPE STEPS

KITCHEN SMARTS: The easiest way to juice lemons is with a hand-held citrus press. When making a gallon or more strawberry lemonade for a party, use a free-standing citrus juicer.

  • STEP 1: Make thyme-infused simple syrup. Add sugar and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove the pan from heat. Add sprigs of thyme, then cover the pan with a lid. Allow the herbs to steep in the syrup for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the strawberry sauce.
  • STEP 2: Add strawberries, water and lemon zest to a small saucepan.
  • STEP 3: Cook the strawberry mixture over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, just until the fruit starts to break down and releases their juices. Remove pan from heat.
  • STEP 4: Use an immersion blender to puree the berries until smooth. If you don’t have this kitchen tool, carefully pour the berry mixture into a food processor or a high-speed blender. To remove the strawberry seeds (optional), strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Set the sauce aside until ready to use.

SUGAR-FREE SIMPLE SYRUP: If you’d prefer a sugar-free simple syrup, use this easy 2-ingredient recipe from wholesomeyum. Then add in the thyme leaves. Allow them to steep in the syrup for 15 minutes.

How to make thyme-infused simple syrup and strawberry syrup on stovetop in 4 easy steps.
  • STEP 5: After the thyme-infused simple syrup has cooled, remove the sprigs of thyme. Over a large pitcher, pour the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any loose leaves that may have fallen off the stems. Add remaining (4 cups) water and lemon juice to the pitcher with the syrup. With a long spoon, stir well to combine.
Hand stirring a tall glass pitcher of lemonade with a wooden spoon.
  • STEP 6: It’s now time to serve and enjoy strawberry lemonade. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons strawberry sauce in the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass with ice. Pour lemonade into the glass. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries, slices of lemon and/or a sprig of thyme.

SERVING TIP: If the flavor of the pink lemonade is highly concentrated, you can either add more cold water or serve it over a lot of ice. As the ice melts down in the glasses, the strong lemon flavor will become diluted.

Glass of blended strawberry lemonade being made: hand holding a pitcher of lemonade and pouring it over ice and strawberry syrup.

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE VARIATIONS

  • Sparkling Lemonade: Make things bubbly! Instead of purified water, use soda water or sparkling water. Serve immediately with ice, before the carbonation goes flat and the fizz is gone.
  • Strawberry Pink Lemonade with Cranberry Juice: Prepare simple syrup without thyme. In a pitcher, mix simple syrup, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup cranberry juice, 5 cups water and a pinch of salt. Add strawberry sauce and ice to tall glasses. Pour pink lemonade over the top.
  • Arnold Palmer: Mix 1 cup strawberry lemonade with 1 cup iced tea.

PARTY TIP: For parties, serve strawberry lemonade in a large beverage dispenser, and fill a second container with iced tea. This makes it easy for kids and adults to make an Arnold Palmer half and half, if desired.

A glass of homemade Starbucks Strawberry Lemonade garnished with a slice of lemon and sprig of thyme.

🤔 RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for making the BEST strawberry lemonade, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

How much juice in 1 lemon?

The juiciness of each lemon will vary. But 1 medium lemon will yield about 2 tablespoons juice. For 1 cup lemon juice, have (at least) 8 lemons on hand so over-squeezing for juice will not be needed. Over-squeezing will result in lemon oil from the skins being expressed, which is not what we want. Lemon oil has a harsh bitter taste.

When are Meyer lemons in season?

Find Meyer lemons at the market from early winter through early spring. During seasons whey they’re not available, use regular lemons which are available year-round. Or pair the fresh juice from regular lemons with the sweet tangy juice from mandarin oranges.

What’s the difference between Meyer lemons and regular lemons?

Meyer lemons have a rounder shape, smoother skin, and are a darker shade of yellow color compared to regular lemons. Meyer lemons also have very little pith – the white spongy flesh (which is super bitter) just below the surface of the skin. They’re sweeter, less acidic and less sour.

Can pink lemonade be made with other fruits?

Yes. If you don’t have fresh or thawed-frozen strawberries on hand, you can use blackberries, blueberries or raspberries instead.

What fresh herbs pair well with strawberry lemonade?

For a gourmet drink, try fresh sprigs of thyme, or basil, rosemary, mint or lavender. Any of these can be used for making the herby lemonade syrup, or for garnishing the drinks before serving.

How to reduce bitterness in lemonade?

Bitterness comes from the lemon oil in the skin that’s expressed when pressing fresh juice out of lemons (when too much pressure is used during squeezing). A pinch of salt will reduce the acidity of lemonade and beautifully balance the flavors of the drink.

How to make lemonade taste better?

For a more vibrant, sweet, sunshiny flavor with less tartness, cut the lemons in half. Roast them in a 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until skins are browned with slightly charred edges. Let the lemons cool completely before squeezing.

Lemonade being poured from a pitcher into a glass filled with strawberry syrup and ice.

🥤 MORE REFRESHING SUMMER DRINKS

On hot summer days, beat the heat with these refreshing ice-cold drinks. Print your favorites for later, or pin them to Pinterest.

Glass of homemade pink lemonade with fresh strawberries and lemons on a white countertop.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this the best strawberry lemonade recipe. It was blind taste tested against 2 similar recipes. Ours was given high marks for its bright lemon flavor, sweet strawberry taste, and a subtle hint of herbs.

If you too enjoyed this delicious pink lemonade, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with a friend.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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A tall glass of strawberry lemonade garnished with fresh slices of lemon and sprig of thyme.

Strawberry Lemonade


Description

Refreshing strawberry lemonade is a cool summer drink! Fruity and sweet, it’s drink shop specialty that’s easy to make at home. Assemble these tasty beverages in 20 minutes. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Lemonade Base

  • 1/2 cup water, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Strawberry Sauce

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For Serving

  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slices
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme

Instructions

Strawberry Lemonade

Thyme-infused Simple Syrup

  1. Add sugar and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  2. Remove the pan from heat. Add sprigs of thyme, then cover the pan with a lid. Allow the herbs to steep in the syrup for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Sauce

  1. Add strawberries, water and lemon zest to a small saucepan. Cook the strawberry mixture over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, just until the fruit starts to break down and releases their juices. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Use an immersion blender to puree the berries until smooth. If you don’t have this kitchen tool, carefully pour the berry mixture into a food processor or a high-speed blender. To remove the strawberry seeds (optional), strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Set the sauce aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Drink for Serving

  1. After the simple syrup has cooled, remove the sprigs of thyme. Over a large pitcher, pour the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any loose leaves that may have fallen off the stems. Add 4 cups cold water and lemon juice to the pitcher with the syrup. With a long spoon, stir well to combine.
  2. TO SERVE: Place 1 to 2 tablespoons strawberry sauce in the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass with ice. Pour lemonade into the glass. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries, slices of lemon and/or a sprig of thyme.

Notes

AMOUNT OF JUICE IN 1 LEMON: The juiciness of each lemon will vary. But 1 medium lemon will yield about 2 tablespoons juice. For 1 cup lemon juice, have (at least) 8 lemons on hand so over-squeezing for juice will not be needed. Over-squeezing will result in lemon oil from the skins being expressed, which is not what we want. Lemon oil has a harsh bitter taste.

  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Strawberry Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Blended Strawberry Lemonade

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

👉🏻 Strawberry Lemonade > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Did you enjoy learning how easy it is to make strawberry lemonade at home? Will you make this recipe for a party, or to enjoy with a few friends out on the porch or around the pool? Share your thoughts below!

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