What’s more satisfying on a warm summer evening than an ice-cold glass of homemade strawberry lemonade? It’s a perfect combination of tart and sweet that’s as refreshing as it looks!
Lemonade is a perfect summery drink. Made right, it’s sweet, flavorful, and refreshing. With all the fresh, ripe berries and other fruits available in the summer months, don’t limit yourself to basic lemonade. Experiment with other fruits or a blend of different fruits!
This recipe starts with my basic recipe for Simply Perfect Lemonade. It’s easy to build upon something that is already amazing, all on its own! I’ve taken this lemonade to a whole new level by adding blended strawberries. But don’t let your imagination stop there…peach lemonade, kiwi lemonade, mango lemonade…the possibilities are endless! Leave me a comment below and let me know what you create!
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 liquefied form of sugar commonly used to sweeten cocktails, iced tea, iced coffee, lemonade, and other cold drinks. Because it is a liquid sweetener, it is 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?
You gently heat 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir the simple syrup occasionally to help with the dissolving. This should really only take a couple of minutes. You don’t want the syrup to boil. You will evaporate too much of your 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.
For the strawberries, slice about 2 cups of berries. Add strawberries and 1/4 cup water to a blender and puree strawberries until smooth. Add the simple syrup, lemon juice, and strawberry puree to a pitcher and stir. Add 4 to 5 cups of cold water to the pitcher and thoroughly chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
When deciding how much to dilute the lemonade, I suggest starting with 4 cups and then sampling it. If it’s too strong, gradually add more water until you get just the flavor you’re looking for. Keep in mind that if you are adding ice to your lemonade, it will further dilute the lemonade as the ice melts. My personal preference is to go with 4 cups of water. When serving the lemonade, I load the glasses with ice to get super refreshing, ice-cold lemonade. Garnish with sliced lemons and strawberries, and ENJOY!
Check out my other lemonade recipes to quench your summer thirst:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4-5 cups water, to dilute (this will vary depending on your taste)
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced, (2 cups), (see notes)
- ¼ cup water, to blend with strawberries
- garnish with sliced strawberries and lemon wedge, optional
- Add the 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stir occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Juice enough lemons for 1 cup of juice. Typically this would be 4 to 6 lemons.
- Add the lemon juice and sugar mixture to a pitcher. Add 4-5 cups of water to the pitcher and stir well. **See notes
- Add sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup water to a blender and process until smooth. Stir into lemonade.
- Refrigerate the strawberry lemonade for 2-3 hours to completely chill.
- To serve, add plenty of ice to the glasses, fill and garnish with sliced strawberries and lemon. (optional).