Learn how to make the Best Strawberry Lemonade easily at home in about 15 minutes with this recipe that uses fresh homemade strawberry simple syrup instead of sugar.
The weather is warming up, and the kids are getting super excited because school is almost out. Can you remember what it felt like to know you were about to be “free” for the summer? To know your immediate future held long sun-drenched days filled with swimming, family road trips, running amuck with your friends until dark, BBQs, and beach days? One thing that always brings me back to those days is Homemade Strawberry Lemonade!
Growing up, we didn’t have a refrigerator stocked with store-bought juices and sodas. We never had soda! Sugar cereals, short-shorts, and sodas were all no-no’s. Instead of store-bought juices or sodas, my mom always made homemade iced tea and in the summer…Lemonade!
Now that I’m a mom, Homemade Lemonade is something both of my kids ask for often and know how to make themselves, two facts that always bring a smile to my face. In trying to stay away from the pouches, boxes, and jugs of juice that flood today’s supermarkets, we have taken to making our own juices and fruit-infused waters.
The kids’ favorite homemade drink, of course, is the fruit-infused lemonades we often whip up together. What makes this Strawberry Lemonade Recipe different from some you will find on the internet is the fact that the lemonade is smooth, not lumpy due to a puree. The strawberry bits are strained out so the lemonade just holds the flavor, not the texture, of the strawberries.
Strawberry Lemonade, Blueberry Lemonade, or Raspberry Lemonade – whatever the flavor – they want it! The pluses to making your own fruit-infused lemonade at home? I know what all of the ingredients are (and can pronounce them), the kids get something they enjoy, and we usually make a pitcher-full as a family so it’s an activity we can eat…well in this case drink! The best part is the eager anticipation that fills my kids’ faces as they wait for it to be finished!
Transforming Homemade Lemonade into a delicious Strawberry (or any berry) Lemonade is simple. The key is using simple syrups instead of sugar and chunks of fruit.
Simple syrup is created by combining equal parts water and sugar in a pot and heating the mixture until the sugar melts. When it comes to making a berry-flavored simple syrup, all it takes is sugar, water, and your berry of choice. The amount of sugar added depends on the sweetness of the berries you use.
The difference in making lemonade, or any homemade juice, with a simple syrup versus just sugar is this…sugar never dissolves all the way and you use way more sugar than you actually need trying to get the level of sweetness you are looking for. Simple syrup easily mixes in and flavors the lemonade perfectly. The result is a naturally colorful, flavorful, thirst-quenching drink!
Play around with different simple syrups this summer and find out which is your family’s favorite. For the adults…simple syrups are a great addition to cocktails…BONUS!!!
- For the Lemonade:
- 8 cups water
- 1½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1½-2 cups Strawberry Simple Syrup
- Sliced strawberries and lemons for garnish
- Strawberry Simple Syrup Ingredients:
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- To make the Strawberry Lemonade:
- In a pitcher, combine water, lemon juice and Strawberry Simple Syrup, mix until combined.
- Add a few slices of lemon and a dozen strawberry halves to the pitcher for garnish the day you serve it.
- For extra pizzazz, increase the recipe by 25% and make trays of frozen ice cubes from the same recipe so that the Strawberry Lemonade doesn't get diluted on a hot day.
- Simple syrup sweetness will vary depending on the berry used as well as the particular sweetness of the batch of berries. If your syrup is too sweet, add some water. Too sour, add more sugar and heat until sugar dissolves. If you're using very sweet berries, reduce the sugar used by ½ cup.
- Tip: If making Lemonade, use unflavored simple syrup vs sugar. Rule of thumb 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water.
- To make the Strawberry Simple Syrup
- In a pot, combine sliced strawberries, water and sugar. Bring it to a boil.
- Allow it to continue to boil for 5 full minutes.
- Remove pot from the heat, carefully mash the berries with a potato masher, then allow the mixture to come to room temperature.
- Once cool, strain the syrup into a large mason jar, pressing down on the berries to get every bit of flavor out. Discard the berry mush. Store in an air-tight mason jar until ready to use.
This recipe for Strawberry Lemonade is a guest post by food blogger, Colleen Kennedy from Souffle Bombay. If you love this recipe and want to see more recipes from Colleen, be sure to visit her site! Enjoy!