How To Make Pink Lemonade- A Step By Step Guide 

 Last Update September 19, 2023

By Jenny Zhang

Pink lemonade is a perfect hot summer day drink. Not only is pink lemonade refreshing, but it's also aesthetically pleasing. Imagine a glass brimming with the perfect shade of pink, a symphony of zesty lemons, and a touch of natural sweetness that dances upon your taste buds. It boasts an impeccable harmony of tanginess and sweetness, accompanied by a lively burst of vibrancy.

Unlike store bought pink lemonade that is filled with artificial coloring, flavoring, and added sugar, homemade pink lemonade is super easy to make. It is beautiful in color and can be very nutritional and healthful if you make it right. To make healthy pink lemonade, you will need fresh ingredients and cut out highly processed ingredients so you can enjoy the full benefits of pink lemonade.

Below, I will share how to make pink lemonade that you can feel good about drinking and serving while also adding some suggestions on how you can elevate your pink lemonade recipe and give it an extra special touch.

What Is Pink Lemonade

Pink lemonade is a whimsical and vibrant adaptation of the classic lemonade, enchanting both the palate and the eyes with its delightful burst of color. While regular lemonade is made using lemon juice, water, and sweetener, pink lemonade gets its vibrant hue and unique flavor by adding red or pink ingredients.

The exact origins of pink lemonade are somewhat uncertain, but there are a few popular theories. One story suggests that pink lemonade was accidentally created in the late 1800s when a circus vendor ran out of water and used the leftover water from a tub where a performer had just finished washing pink-colored tights. Another tale suggests that red or pink berries, such as raspberries or strawberries, were added to lemonade to give it a visually appealing twist.

What Makes The Color Pink In Pink Lemonade

The pink color in pink lemonade can be achieved using various ingredients or methods. Here are some common ways to create the pink hue:

Red Fruit Juices

One popular method is to add red fruit juices, such as cranberry juice or pomegranate juice, to the lemonade. These juices naturally possess a red or pink color, which gets infused into the lemonade, giving it a delightful pink tint. The amount of juice added can be adjusted based on the desired level of pinkness.

Fruit Purees

Another approach is to blend and strain red fruits like raspberries or strawberries to create a fruit puree. This puree can then be mixed into the lemonade, imparting a beautiful pink color and adding a subtle fruity flavor.

Food Coloring

In some cases, natural food coloring may be used to achieve the desired shade of pink. Beet juice, derived from beets, can be added to the lemonade in small amounts to create a pink hue. Similarly, hibiscus tea, which has a vibrant red color, can be steeped and mixed with lemonade to create a pinkish tint.

How To Make Pink Lemonade

Gather Your Supplies

To make pink lemonade, you will need fresh ripe lemons, sweeteners (such as maple syrup, honey, or dates syrup), filtered water, and unsweetened juice or fresh fruit that is red in color. This can be cranberry juice, pomegranate, watermelon, or beet juice. For fresh options, you can opt for strawberries, raspberries, or watermelon.

In addition, grab your citrus juicer, juicer, or citrus reamer if it's available. These tools can help juice your lemon and maximize lemon juice yield.

Prepare Your Lemons

Before making your pink lemonade recipe, it's best to soften the lemon to make juicing a breeze. You can soften lemons by either rolling them firmly on a counter or warming them in a microwave for a few seconds. This helps break down the internal membranes and makes the lemon easier to juice.

Muddle with Your Fresh Fruit

If you are planning on using fresh fruit to help boost the red color, you will need to muddle or mesh the fresh fruit of your choice. This can be any red-colored fruit such as watermelon, strawberries, or raspberry.

In a small bowl or jar, muddle your fresh fruit. You then have the option to either strain out any pulp or leave it as is.

Juice Your Lemons

Use a sharp knife and slice the lemon in half. For those with a citrus juicer at hand, simply place one half of a lemon, cut-side down, into the juicer. Press the handles together firmly to extract the juice from the lemon. The juicer will separate the juice from the pulp and seeds, allowing it to flow into a container or glass.

You can still extract the juice manually if you don't have a juicer. Hold one lemon half in your hand, cut side up, and use a citrus reamer or fork to twist and press the flesh. Squeeze the lemon firmly while rotating the reamer or fork to release the juice. Be careful to catch any seeds that may fall out.

To remove any remaining pulp or seeds, you can strain the freshly squeezed lemon juice through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a container or glass.

Pick Your Sweetener

Making a pink lemonade recipe healthy is all about the sugar content. We recommend natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or dates syrup instead of granulated sugar, which helps to reduce the overall sweetness.

Assemble Your Pink Lemonade

Combine the lemon juice, sweetener, fresh fruit/fruit juice, and cold water in a sizable jug. After combining the ingredients, stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure they are well mixed. Then, take a moment to taste the lemonade and assess its flavor. If needed, make any necessary adjustments to the ingredients based on your preference. This could involve adding more sugar, water, or any other ingredient to achieve the desired taste.


To elevate your pink lemonade, add garnish to the serving cup. You can either place a lemon slice or split strawberry at the rim of the serving cup or add some mint stalk to the cup.

How To Make Pink Lemonade Healthy

Choose Natural Sweeteners

Instead of refined sugars or simple syrup, consider using natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, dates syrup, or pomegranate molasses. These options add sweetness without the added processed sugars.

Another benefit of using natural sweeteners is you don't have to worry about melting the sugar, and sugar dissolves into a sugar syrup.

Reduce Sweetener Amount

Start with a smaller amount of sweetener and gradually increase it to find your desired level of sweetness. Over time, you may find that you need less sweetener as your taste buds adjust to enjoying the natural flavors.

Add Fresh Fruits

Enhance your pink lemonade's natural sweetness and flavor by adding fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or watermelon. Blend them with the lemonade or muddle them to infuse their flavors. By doing so, you can relish the natural sweetness of the fruits without the need for extra sweeteners.

How To Elevate Your Homemade Pink Lemonade Recipe

To elevate your homemade lemonade recipe and make it even more special, you can try the following tips and additions:

Infuse with herbs or spices

Add a unique flavor twist by infusing your lemonade with herbs or spices. For example, you can add a few sprigs of fresh basil, mint, or rosemary to the pitcher and let them infuse into the fresh lemonade. Alternatively, add a pinch of ground ginger or a cinnamon stick for a warm and aromatic touch.

Incorporate fruit puree or juice

Enhance the flavor and color of your lemonade by incorporating fruit puree or juice. Consider blending fresh strawberries to make strawberry lemonade, raspberries to make raspberry lemonade, watermelon to make watermelon lemonade, or even mango to add a tropical twist. This will add a delightful fruity taste and a vibrant hue to your drink.

Use flavored ice cubes

Instead of regular ice cubes, try making flavored ice cubes to add an extra layer of flavor. You can freeze fresh fruit slices or pureed fruit in the ice cube trays and use them to chill your lemonade, and this will gradually release the flavors into the drink as they melt.

Add a splash of sparkling water

For a refreshing and effervescent twist, consider adding a splash of sparkling water or soda water to your lemonade just before serving. It will give your drink a fizzy kick and make it feel more like a special beverage.

Rim the glasses

To create an appealing presentation, rim the glasses with sugar or salt. Wet the rim of the glass with a lemon wedge, then dip it in a shallow plate of sugar or salt to create a rimmed effect. Each sip adds a touch of elegance and a hint of sweetness or saltiness.

Garnish creatively

Elevate the visual appeal of your lemonade by garnishing it creatively. You can add lemon slices, split strawberries, or other fruits to the rim of the glass or float them in the pitcher. Fresh herbs like mint or a colorful edible flower can also be used as a garnish to make your drink look more enticing.

Experiment with different citrus fruits

While classic lemonade is wonderful, you can explore other citrus fruits to create a unique flavor profile. Try adding a combination of fresh lemon juice, lime juice, and orange juices to your recipe. This blend will add complexity and a delightful citrusy punch to your lemonade.

pink lemonade cherry

Pink Lemonade Recipe FAQs

Can I use store-bought lemon juice for pink lemonade

While it's always best to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for optimal flavor, you can use store-bought lemon juice as a substitute if needed. Just make sure it's 100% lemon juice and free from any added preservatives or artificial flavors.

How can I make pink lemonade without using artificial food coloring

You can make pink lemonade without artificial food coloring by using natural sources of pink color. Options include red fruit juices like cranberry or pomegranate juice, fruit purees made from berries, or even natural food coloring alternatives like beet juice or hibiscus tea.

How can I adjust the sweetness of pink lemonade to my taste

You can adjust the sweetness of pink lemonade by adding more or less of the sweetener (such as honey or maple syrup) until it reaches your desired level of sweetness. Begin with a modest quantity and progressively incorporate more, sampling along the way to determine the desired outcome.

Can I use different fruits besides strawberries or raspberries to make pink lemonade

Absolutely! You can experiment with different fruits to make pink lemonade, and some options include cherries, watermelon, dragon fruit, or even red grapefruit. Just blend or juice the fruit and incorporate it into the lemonade for a unique flavor and color.

What are some garnishing ideas to enhance the presentation of homemade pink lemonade

Some garnishing ideas for homemade pink lemonade include adding fresh mint leaves, citrus slices (lime, orange, or lemon slices), strawberry or raspberry slices, lemon peel, or even edible flowers like lavender or pansies. These additions can elevate the visual appeal and add a touch of elegance to your pink lemonade.

Is Pink Lemonade Good For You

If you are purchasing a store bought lemonade, they are highly likely to contain a high amount of sugar, making them high in calories. Some could even have more sugar than Coca-Cola, making them unhealthy drinks. The store bought pink lemonade which also contains artificial red dye.

According to the research, red dye #3 is considered a carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical). Research also shows that people who are sensitive to food dye could experience a variety of adverse reactions such as skin rash, migraine, joint pain, hyperactivity, respiratory issues, digestive issues, and much more. Regardless, red dye is an ingredient you should avoid consuming. 

Homemade lemonade, on the other hand, can be much healthier for you. It all depends on how you make your pink lemonade. It is more nutritious and better for you if you use freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than powder or concentrated lemon juice. Powder and concentrate are not as nutritional as freshly squeezed and could contain other ingredients. When you make your own lemonade, you are also more mindful and make wise decisions on what type of sugar to use and how much to use. At least one can hope. When it comes to sweetening your lemonade, there are many natural ways to do it without adding sugar. Read above to learn more.  

Are Pink Lemons Used To Make Pink Lemonade

Pink lemonade usually isn't made with pink lemons. While you can use this variety, it is not typically used to make the best pink lemonade. Pink lemons are naturally sweeter and less acidic than bright yellow lemons, so they are not often used to make lemonade.

how to make pink lemonade

Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.