This easy pink lemonade is made with lemon juice, simple syrup, and a splash of grenadine syrup. Adjust the sweetness to suit your taste.
There’s just something so fun about a cold glass of pink lemonade on a hot summer day. The pink color seems to make the lemonade taste just a little bit better. Here’s what you need to make a pitcher.
Lemons: You need a cup of lemon juice for this recipe. For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed juice. When selecting lemons for lemonade, look for ones that feel heavy for their size. Then give it a very gentle squeeze. You want it to feel firm yet give very slightly under pressure. If the lemon feels rock-hard or squishy, leave it at the store and select another one.
If you want to use bottled lemon juice, use one that has a bright lemony aroma. If the bottled juice smells bitter, the lemon juice will be bitter.
Sugar. This lemonade isn’t too sweet and it isn’t too sour. Since the recipe uses sugar syrup, add as much or as little as you’d like.
Grenadine Syrup. The real star of this recipe is grenadine syrup. It’s the secret ingredient that makes this lemonade so pretty. The color of grenadine syrup varies by brand. If you use a syrup that’s naturally colored, you’ll need to use more to achieve a pretty pink color.
If you don’t have grenadine syrup on hand, you can use the juice from a jar of red maraschino cherries.
Why grenadine and not a fruit puree or juice?
Classic pink lemonades doesn’t have a fruity flavor. While tinkering with this recipe, I found that using strawberry puree or cranberry juice made the lemonade taste like, you guessed it, strawberry or cranberry lemonade. That’s not what I was going for with the flavor. A splash of grenadine added sweetness and color while maintaining the perfect sweet-tart flavor I love with pink lemonade.
How to Make Perfect Pink Lemonade Every Time.
There are only three steps for this recipe: prepare the sugar syrup, juice the lemons, and, finally, stir everything together. Let’s take a quick look at how to do each one.
Prepare the Sugar Syrup.
Combine sugar and water in a small pan and bring to a boil. It’s important to cook the syrup until all the sugar is dissolved or the lemonade will be gritty. If you see a little sugar at the bottom of the pot after the syrup comes to a boil, give the syrup a slow stir with a heatproof rubber spatula.
Once all the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat. Let the syrup cool. You can either cool it all the way or, if you’re going to chill the lemonade, cool it for about 10 minutes and then use the syrup.
The syrup lasts for about two weeks in the refrigerator. If you plan to make several batches of lemonade, go ahead and double (or triple) the recipe.
Juice the Lemons.
While the syrup cools, juice the lemons. You need a full cup of juice. To get the most juice from your lemons, start with room-temperature lemons. Before you cut them, roll them gently on the counter. Don’t press down so hard that the lemons bruise or tear. Slice the lemon in half and then squeeze. I like to use a citrus juicer. It helps to get the most juice out of each lemon.
Mix. Taste. Enjoy.
Combine the lemon juice with cold water in a large pitcher. Next, pour in about three-quarters of the sugar syrup. Stir in the grenadine and give it a good stir. Taste the lemonade. If it’s not sweet enough, add the remaining sugar syrup.
You can serve it immediately over ice but I like to refrigerate it for at least an hour to allow the lemonade to chill.
Pink lemonade is a treat in itself! But if you’d like to jazz it up a bit, here are a few variations to take it to the next level.
Berry Pink. If you like a berry-flavored lemonade, blend a cup of strawberries or raspberries (or both) with a splash of water. Strain the juice and mix it into the lemonade along with the grenadine syrup.
Cool Pink Mint. Add a refreshing mint twist by adding fresh mint leaves to the sugar syrup before bringing it to a boil. After the syrup cooks, let it cool with the mint leaves. Then strain the syrup before using.
Easy Pink Lemonade
For the Sugar Syrup
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (5 ½ ounces; 148 grams)
- 1 cup water (8 ounces; 226 grams)
For the Pink Lemonade
- 1 cup lemon juice (8 ounces; 226 grams)
- 7 cups cold water (56 ounces; 1588 grams)
- 1 tablespoon grenadine syrup, more as needed
Make the Sugar Syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small pan. Bring to a boil and cool until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool.
Make the Lemonade: Combine lemon juice with cold water and sugar syrup. To adjust the sweetness, you can add half the sugar syrup and then taste the lemonade. Add more syrup as needed.
Stir in the grenadine. Depending on the syrup you might need to add more to make it a pretty pink.
Serve over ice.