Last updated on August 20th, 2020
Love pink lemonade? Want to know how to make homemade pink lemonade from scratch? It’s easier than you think and oh so refreshing.
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My good friend A is pregnant with TWIN girls! On Sunday, several of her friends and family hosted a baby shower in her honor. I was asked to bring lemonade. What more could be more fitting for sweet baby girls than pink lemonade?
We are actually big pink lemonade drinkers in our house. I first became addicted to pink lemonade the summer I was pregnant with Little Tot. I remember from the moment I became pregnant, no matter how much water I drank I was always in a state of parched. Pink lemonade was the only thing that seemed to satiate my constant thirst.
I would love to be all Suzy Homemaker and pretend that the only lemonade we drink in our house is freshly squeezed. That would be a big ol’ lie. We drink almost a jug a day. There is no way I’m standing over a juicer every night to juice two pounds of lemons. Every other day, it’s powdered drink mix for us.
But for a special occasion — like two little pink bundles of joy — I can spring for freshly squeezed. It’s actually pretty easy to make and you can adjust the measurements to make it as sweet or as tart as you like.
How to Make Homemade Pink Lemonade
Before juicing your lemons, take a vegetable peeler and slice eight long, thin peel segments from one lemon. Combine the segments in a medium sauce pan with 1 1/2 – 1 1/4 cups of sugar and equal parts water. Add more or less sugar depending on your sweetness preference. We’re going to make a simple syrup to sweeten the lemonade. Bring the water to a simmer over low to medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.
While the simple syrup you just made is cooling, begin juicing your lemons. First, if you don’t have a juicer, I highly recommend purchasing one or borrowing one from a friend. Two pounds of lemons nets approximately 1 cup of lemon juice. For this recipe, you’ll need four cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Trust me, you do not want to squeeze eight pounds of lemons by hand! You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a juicer. I own an older version of this juicer. It costs less than $30 and I was able to juice all eight pounds of lemons in about 30 minutes.
Once you have four cups of lemon juice, combine it in a large pitcher with the cooled simple syrup, nine cups of cold water and 1/2 – 3/4 cup of cranberry juice. You can adjust how “pink” you want your pink lemonade to be by adding more cranberry juice. Just keep in mind, if you add more, you may have to adjust the sweetener. The lemonade you see in the picture was made using 1/2 cup. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the mix if you want. I find it mellows the pucker power of the lemons.
This recipe makes approximately 1 gallon of lemonade, or 16-eight ounce cups.
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Homemade Pink Lemonade
- 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 8 lemon peel segments
- 11 cups water divided
- 4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice about 8 pounds of lemons
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a small saucepan, combine lemon peel segments, sugar and equal parts water. Adjust the amount of sugar depending on your sweetness preference.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat. Allow to cool completely.
- In a large pitcher, combine 9 cups of water, lemon juice, cranberry juice, and salt. Adjust the hue of the lemonade by adding more or less cranberry juice.
- Remove the lemon peel segments from the simple syrup. Add to lemonade. Stir to combine.
- Pour lemonade through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pulp, if desired.
- Serve chilled.
Thanks for this recipe, I’m addicted to minutemaid pink lemonade (preferably the 59oz. Carton close 2nd the frozen canned concentrate) won’t drink the canned or bottled version can’t stand it I think it has something to do with what ever is added or removed to make it shelf stable or pasteurized I guess. Anyway I live in Northern California & a little over a year ago Walmart stopped selling unpasteurized minutemaid pink Lemonade very frustrating but I found it at Safeway but they stopped stocking the 59oz carton 6mo. Ago that’s when I tried the frozen concentrate from Safeway the taste is actually nearly identical although I miss the convenience of the carton and the food filtered water from my fridge dispenses at a turtles pace from start to finish about 10min. Not a big deal but never fails when I’m exhausted or in a hurry inevitability the pitcher will be almost gone lol. I assume minutemaid has discontinued the carton although for some reason they do still sell there zero sugar version which is awful tasting and always seem be in stock so ok not alone it seems as the original was common place for it to be sold out. Anyway back to the point I went to Safeway as usual around the 1st of the month to get my regular 10cans that last the month but they didn’t have any figured was out of stock so I came back 2-3x over the next week and still no pink lemonade still hv minutemaid original yellow in both frozen and carton but no pink. While I do like the yellow and it is a suitable substitute when I can’t find the pink it’s just not the same. I’ve tried to buy online Amazon even tried to purchase directly from minutemaid while it’s easy to find on there website everytime I select it and tap purchase it says sorry can’t find any online retailers shipping to your location so I hit the toggle tab to find a in store location and you guessed it same result no local retailers. You’d think if they discontinued it they would remove it from there product catalog on there website seems it’s just listed to taunt me I guess. I’m sure ur thinking “what’s this hv to do with my pink lemonade recipe & is he ever going to get to the point” that’s on the small chance your actually still reading this of course & if so I’m pretty confident that I would’ve tapped l & deleted much sooner.
A last to the comment relating to your recipe, after getting skunked on my search i got the idea of making it myself but when I started making a list of the ingredients I’d need I realized I had no idea what the Pink in Pink Lemonade was & I wasn’t alone after consulting with a handful of friends who either had no clue or said it was just strawberry lemonade but that didn’t make sense mostly because minutemaid has a strawberry lemonade I know this because it was more often than not stocked rt next to the pink lemonade. I wasn’t worried though I still had 1 more friend to ask and he knows everything and his name is Googley. I hit up old googley asked how to make minutemaid pink Lemonade and googley spit out a bunch of answers , unfortunately none were the answer to my question most of them said that Pink Lemonade was actually just yellow lemonade with pinkish food coloring and there was no difference in actual taste. Which of course is not true although I wish it was I wouldn’t be having this problem and most importantly you wouldn’t of used your valuable time reading this or more accurately wasted your time reading this. But unfortunately pink lemonade has its own flavor profile. And turns out the all knowing googley doesn’t know everything he just answers everything regardless if it’s accurate or true. Lesson learned Googleys ego is to big to admit when he doesn’t know and I’m sure there’s others out there who don’t have the experience with pink Lemonade like I do who are now walking around convinced that pink or yellow lemonade is the same and there missing out on the great tasting king of Al lemonade flavors “Pink”. Granted until I found your recipe I had no idea what flavor pink was Or how to recreate it omo but at least I knew that “Pink” was more than just a cheap sell’s gimmick. But you’d be surprised of the time and effort it took me to crack this mystery. Even more surprised with how many different answers are out there my favorite was the explanation of how pink lemonade was invented. A 1912 NY TIMES obituary for Henry E. Allot who apparently ran away from his Chicago home as teenager to join the circus and accidentally dropped some cinnamon candies into a large batch regular lemonade turning the beverage pink. Which I’m not sure what to think, while I dint doubt old Henry dropped some candy in batch of lemonade I’m having trouble believing that’s the true origin but he’s widely credited with it. Which is probably where the food coloring myth was spawn from. So maybe pink lemonade started out as the same but at some point it evolved into its own unique flavor profile to match its unique color profile but I was starting to doubt I’d ever figure it out. Than finally after many hours days actually of searching I found your recipe and it all adds up. The ingredients tge cranberry which acts as both food coloring and flavor enhancer. So thank you I was actually sad that I wouldn’t get to taste a true pink lemonade again I know pathetic rt. But hey I dint drink coffee alcohol soda just pink lemonade been my thing for more than a decade. So although it takes a lot more effort than buying carton or even making it from frozen concentrate at least I can still get my fix. So i thank you for the recipe and apologize fir using your comment section to detail my long pink lemonade saga wasn’t my intention I should probably mk an appointment with psychiatrist and work with through this clearly it’s effected me more than I realized. Lol. ❤️Peace4thePeaceful
You are welcome, Arlene!
Thanks for the recipe! It was a nice treat.
Every recipe I have come across for pink lemonade calls for using strawberries, which I did not want to do. I was so excited to come across your recipe that used cranberry juice instead! Exactly what I was looking for … thank you!
Thank you, Josee! I’m so glad you and your daughter enjoyed it!
Ocean spray will work..I tried! My four year old daughter loved it also I love that it had not alot of sugar!