Fresher is better, and this Easy Strawberry Lemonade is no exception. Plump, ripe berries + fresh-squeezed lemons = sunshine in a glass. Best of all, this classic sweet-tart combo can be yours in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. A batch can last up to a week in your fridge, but fair warning, it probably won’t. Variations included.
Though seemingly steeped in summertime, fresh-squeezed lemonade isn’t inherently a seasonal beverage since lemons actually grow year-round. (Myself, I can only fathom drinking them in toddies during the winter.) Strawberries, on the other hand, start to peak in the spring, so this particular mashup is one worth waiting for.
I’ve been sleuthing and I can’t figure out when flavored lemonades became a “thing.” When I was a kid you had lemonade. If you were fancy, you had pink lemonade, which definitely wasn’t “flavored,” though some tried to pass it off as such. (The pink lemonade origin story will make your face pucker more than actual lemons do. Eww.) Now, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a strawberry-raspberry-peach-mango lemonade. To this I say: Gimme more!
Need more RIGHT NOW? We gotcha! Browse our favorite lemonade recipes.
Some people like extreme Doritos or loaded ice cream. I want a layered lemonade. I want my lemonade to reach peak mad scientist. But as I am here for you, dear reader, we’ll start you off simple. So simple, you don’t even need a simple syrup for this homemade strawberry lemonade recipe.
Squeeze your citrus. Puree your berries with sugar. Strain ’em both. Mix together. Sit back. Relax. Put your feet up. And knock it back. If you’re feeling frisky, layer in some basil. Maybe some mint. Experiment. When your tastebuds start screaming “IT’S ALIVE!” you’ll know you’ve got it right.
How to Make Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
Put away the powder and scrap the single-serve bottles. Homemade Strawberry Lemonade is so quick, easy, and gloriously tasty, you’re going to start buying fruit in bulk. No simple syrup needed – squeeze, blend, strain and mix. Garnish with sliced berries for a pretty treat. Recipe makes about 8 servings, but easily multiplies.
For an interactive recipe, click here for the web story!
PRO TIP: Save the overripe, mushy strawberries (you know, the ones you might normally toss?). Add ’em to a ziplock bag, and when you have enough, defrost in the fridge overnight to make the strawberry puree. Three cheers for less waste!
- Puree. Combine strawberries, sugar, and water in a blender or food processor. Blend until very smooth.
- Strain. Strain the strawberry puree to remove large solids.
- Mix. Mix strawberry puree, lemon juice, and water in a pitcher. Chill, or serve right away over ice.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- Use very ripe strawberries. Those mushy berries you’re thinking of tossing? Those are perfect.
- Gently roll lemons under your palm on the counter a few times before juicing – it will loosen the membranes and making juicing easier.
- Don’t push the solids through when straining. Gently mix the content of the strainer with a spoon to help the straining process, but don’t push the seeds through.
- No simple syrup required! Just puree the sugar with the strawberries – it will quickly dissolve.
Make It Your Way
Herb it up! Add ½ cup basil or ½ cup fresh mint leaves to the strawberries and sugar before pureeing and straining.
Cut the sugar. The sugar can be reduced to ¾ cup (the lemonade will be on the tart side, but still delicious) or substitute ½ cup honey or maple syrup for the sugar. Add the honey or maple syrup along with the lemon juice.
What’s the Best Way to Juice Lemons?
As you can see from the above photograph, I am the proud owner of an electric citrus juicer (Citristar) and it’s personally one of my favorite single-use small appliances. Even if you’re not a full-time food blogger or a regular fresh-juice-drink, it’s worth considering. I have a friend who bought one for under $30 just to dust off in in the summer for making “crush” cocktails. But even if you’re low on kitchen storage space, you’ve got options:
- Citrus reamer: a handy tool for most kitchens, from making fresh lemonade to squeezing citrus for cocktails. Get one with a base for collecting the juice, bonus points if it has measurements built in. Simply cut your fruit in half and twist around the ridged edges to extract your juice.
- Citrus squeezer: juice over a large (4 cup) wide-mouthed pyrex measuring cup for less spillage and easy measuring and pouring.
- A fork: yes, really! Lacking none of the above, twisting the tines of a fork into a halved lemon will do a decent job of juicing.
Whether you go electric or manual, roll the lemons back and forth on the counter a few times to loosen the membranes to make juicing just a bit easier. Just remember – you’re going to get some seeds and pulp when you manually juice. I recommend straining regardless of which side of the pulp debate you fall on so you can extract any seeds. Add pulp back into the juice according to taste.
More Lemonade Recipes
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- 1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 c sugar or ⅔ c honey
- 6 cups water, divided
- 1.5 c lemon juice
- Combine the strawberries, sugar, and 2 cups of water in a blender. Blend until very smooth, 30-45 seconds.
- Nest a strainer over a pitcher or a 2-cup measuring cup. Strain the solids.
- Transfer the strained puree to a pitcher if needed. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 4 cups of water. Mix until well combined, then serve over ice. Garnish with fresh strawberries slices if desired.
- The riper the strawberries, the sweeter and more intense the flavor will be!
- Variation: add ½ c fresh basil or mint leaves to the strawberries before pureeing.
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