A lemonade that will have you believing you stepped into paradise with one sip…Yes, it’s that good! Lilikoi Lemonade is a combination of tart and sweet with the distinctly bold, tropical flavor that lilikoi (passion fruit) is known for.
It’s fall in Hawaii, and though it certainly doesn’t feel like fall or look like fall – the air is not cool and crisp, there are no leaves changing colors or falling off the trees – fall here means the lilikoi, or passion fruit, are ripening and ready to harvest. The lilikoi season will go from late summer all the way through January. If you have never tasted lilikoi, you are missing out! Lilikoi is both tart and sweet with a very strong, unique, and amazing flavor! It’s the perfect fruit to make incredible tasting desserts, sorbets, and of course, lemonade!
We have quite a few lilikoi vines growing in our backyard. The vines are covered with beautifully unique flowers during the late spring and early summer! And the more flowers we see, the more fruit we will have to harvest in the coming months. I freeze most of the juice we get from the lilikoi, so we enjoy the fantastic flavor year-round – it really feels like we are spoiled sometimes! If you want to read more on lilikoi, you can find the information here.
For This Recipe:
The most important step (and really the only step) in creating great lemonade is making a simple syrup. Also referred to as “sugar syrup,” simple syrup is a liquified form of sugar commonly used to sweeten cocktails, iced tea, iced coffee, lemonade, and other cold drinks. Because it is a liquid sweetener, it’s much easier to blend into cold beverages than regular sugar. For example, if you simply stirred granulated sugar into cold water and lemon juice, the sugar would sink to the bottom. As a result, you would end up with the top half of your drink being pucker-producing tart and the bottom being over-the-top sweet.
How do you make simple syrup?
Gently heat 1 cup of water with 1 1/2 cups of sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir the simple syrup occasionally to help with the dissolving. This should only take a couple of minutes. You don’t want the syrup to boil. If you do, it will evaporate too much water, and you run the risk of burning the sugar. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove it from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the simple syrup, 1 cup of lemon juice, and 1 cup of lilikoi juice into a pitcher. You’ll want to dilute the mixture with 4 cups of cold water, then allow your lemonade to chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. If it’s too strong, gradually add more water until you get just the flavor your looking for. Keep in mind that you’ll be adding ice to your lemonade, and it will further dilute the lemonade as the ice melts.
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup lilikoi juice, if you are not using fresh, make sure it is unsweetened.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 4 cups water, to dilute
- Add 1 ½ cups sugar and 1 cup water to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Juice enough lemons for 1 cup of juice. Typically, this would be 4 to 6 lemons. If using fresh lilikoi juice, juice enough lilikoi to equal 1 cup. **If you are using canned, bottled, or frozen lilikoi juice, make sure it is unsweetened.
- Add the lemon juice, lilikoi juice, simple syrup, and a pinch of salt to a pitcher. Add 4 cups of cold water to the pitcher and stir well.
- Refrigerate the lilikoi lemonade for 3-4 hours to completely chill.
- To serve, add plenty of ice to the glasses. Pour over ice and serve.