If you are looking for a delicious, refreshing upgrade from store-bought pink lemonade, look no further than this fresh Homemade Raspberry Lemonade. Using a lemon simple syrup as a base with loads fresh pureed raspberries, this pink lemonade is bright, fruity, and SO refreshing.
It doesn’t have booze in it (but it could) and will chill you out on a hot summer day. CHEERS!
Making Lemonade from Scratch
While the raspberries are the star of this lemonade, the most important part of the recipe is actually the lemon simple syrup. It starts like all simple syrups with equal parts sugar and water. I use one cup of each. Just heat it until the syrup is dissolved and then you can let it cool down.
When it comes to lemonade, there’s something to be said for the quickness of a mix. But when you’re in the mood for a seriously refreshing drink, nothing beats fresh-squeezed juice.
For the lemons, I use a juicer, but if you don’t have a juicer, you can also just use a fork to press on the inside half of the lemon as you wring it out. That’ll maximize your juice levels.
Depending on the size of your lemons, you might need more than six. You’re looking for about a cup of lemon juice. Six really big lemons gave me a bit over a cup which is perfect.
I recommend stirring in the fresh lemon juice after you have heated up the simple syrup so the juice will stay really fresh. Also if you want to infuse your simple syrup with some lemon flavor you can add in a few squeezed lemon halves into the syrup as it heats up.
Making the Raspberry Puree
As far as the raspberries go, I kind of just guessed that a small container of raspberries would do the trick. That’s six ounces of fresh berries.
I love raspberries. It might be my favorite berry.
Now obviously you can’t juice a berry, so you have to process or blend them to get the juice out.
You could use a food processor, a blender, or I guess a fork if you want to do a lot of work.
I think a food processor is easiest, but there are many ways to puree a berry here!
Just blend it up until it’s smooth!
There’s a problem with this mess though: seeds. Raspberries have tons of little seeds in them and they are just not appealing in a drink. It would feel like you had tons of little dirt pebbles in your lemonade.
So I think one of the most important steps is to make sure you strain the raspberries.
Now, when you pour your raspberry pulp into the strainer, it’ll just kind of sit there. It’s pretty thick.
So go ahead and mix your simple syrup and fresh lemon juice together. Then slowly pour this through the strainer also. It’ll pick up the raspberry juice on the way but leave behind the raspberry seeds and any of the lemon pulp that got through also.
I poured my juice through my strainer a few times. Just get a fresh bowl to set under the strainer and pour the liquid through again. Every time it’ll pick up a bit more raspberry color and flavor. Also, use a fork to mush the pulp around and force the juice through.
After two or three times through, you’ll be left with nothing but seeds basically.
So you now have about 4 cups of really intense juice. If you taste it, I think you’ll find that it’s way too strong.
I recommend diluting it to about half-strength. So add 3-4 cups of cold water to it and stir it up.
It’ll keep in the fridge for a few days. Not that it’ll last that long.
I poured some of this over crushed ice and threw in a few mint sprigs.
The mint sprigs are pretty optional, but I dig them.
If you can’t get out of the heat, give this homemade raspberry lemonade a shot.
Substitutions for this fresh lemonade
This is obviously a pretty flexible idea for a recipe but here are some ideas to change it up!
- Change up the berries! You could use strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries!
- Add herbs to the simple syrup. Fresh basil and mint are always good but also you could try rosemary, lavender, or even fresh thyme for an interesting flavor twist.
- Use different sweeteners like honey or agave syrup instead of standard sugar.
How to turn this homemade raspberry lemonade into a cocktail
If you are planning to use this lemonade as a cocktail base, I think it’s a great idea. I would water it down less, maybe adding just one or two cups of water to the base. Then use that as a mixer with either gin or vodka!
Add 1 1/2 ounces of vodka or gin to a glass of this for a really solid cocktail.
Fresh Raspberry Lemonade
- 1 cup Fresh lemon juice, About six lemons
- 1 Cup hot water
- 1 Cup sugar
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries, pureed
- 4 Cups cold water
- Fresh mint, optional garnish
- Mix the one cup of warm water with 1 cup of sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is simmering. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Juice lemons. Mix lemon juice with simple syrup mixture.
- Add raspberries to a food processor blender and process until smooth.
- Add raspberry pulp to a strainer. Pour lemonade mixture through strainer. It should pick up lots of raspberry color and juice. Repeat a few times. You should be left with mostly seeds in the strainer.
- Dilute lemonade with 3-4 cups of cold water.
- Serve with crushed ice and mint.