Old Fashioned Pink Lemonade

I was inspired by reading this post at Weddings and Food to make some pink lemonade today. Isn’t it pretty? I think it is a little pinker than what we used to get frozen in the can growing up. Why is pink lemonade so much more appealing than regular lemonade? Doesn’t the canned stuff just has food dye in it to make it pink? I haven’t bought it in decades so don’t really know. This version, with a gentle addition of cranberry juice is the perfect refreshing cooler for a hot summer day.

Old Fashioned Pink Lemonade Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6.


  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (if using unsweetened cranberry juice, 1 cup if using sweetened)
  • 4 cups water (divided)
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup lemon juice


1 Make a "simple syrup" by heating sugar and 1 cup of the water in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

2 Stir together the remaining water, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. Make adjustments to taste. Chill for an hour, or add ice to cool.

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Perfect lemonade
Low carb cranberry cooler


  1. Ellie

    Whilst I think it’s hard to improve on a delicious home-made lemonade, you’re right in that a pink lemonade looks much more impressive ;)

  2. jonathan

    A shot of grenadine also does the trick if you’re out of, can’t get or don’t like cranberry juice. Another way to punch up the lemon quotient is to remove the outer rind (not the bitter white pith) from the lemon, pulse it with the sugar in your mini chop, shake out the sugar through a mesh strainer, and proceed to make the simple syrup from there…

  3. Anonymous

    Can someone explain the purpose of turning the sugar water into a syrup rather than mixing it with the other ingredients as is?

  4. Elise

    Hi Jonathan – whoa, that would supercharge the lemonade!

    Regarding the anonymous comment asking why make the sugar water a syrup first, the reason you do this is to make the sugar completely absorbed into the water. If you don’t make the syrup, you will usually find that the sugar tends to re-crystalize as the water cools and settle out to the bottom of your lemonade container.

  5. immi

    This recipe is scrumpoius! Mmmm! But why not try a different fruit, I did lime and rasberry insted of cranberry and lemon, it was really nice!

  6. Lorrie

    Thanks for this recipe! I made it tonight and shared with my family. We all thought it was very good.

  7. ~M

    I made this tonight as I had some leftover lemons and cran-raspberry juice (not that cocktail stuff with HFCS). YUMM! I’ll have to try a lime raspberry version, too!

  8. Yvonne

    I tried your lemonade recipe. FANTASTIC! It was so sweet and tangy. A southern favorite!
    Shared this with my 2 sisters, LOVVVEEEDDD IIIITTTTT!!!!!

  9. coleen

    Pink colouring is usually “natural” ..crushed cochineal beetles!!!

  10. mistah charley, ph.d.

    My grandmother always used grape juice to color her pink lemonade.

  11. Nick

    Most pink lemonade concentrates use grape skins to acheive the pink color. The grape skin acts like litmus paper. It is activated by the high ph of citric acid and turns the drink pink.

  12. Laine

    Mmmm I wonder how it would be with pomegranate instead of cranberry juice… Gotta try both ways soon.

  13. Ron N.

    To simplify an earlier suggestion, why not peel the lemons, or “zest” them (remove the outer skin with a fine grater) before juicing. Then simply put them into the water/sugar before boiling, and then strain before adding to the pitcher.

  14. nicole

    Wow. I have always wanted to create a lemonade stand, but have never been able to. My mom said I could do it as soon as I wanted to, and I am so excited about it. I am planning on doing it this spring. I will do it with my best friend Jillian P.. Jillian is 11 years old and I am 12 years old. We both live in a small town. My lemonade stand is going to be very large. It will also be peas in a pod green with a mellow yellow shade on it too. We’ll have the following: water, lemonade, pink lemonade, soda pop, apples, bananas, and granola bars. It will be extremelly exciting I can’t wait. Bye-bye! (: :)

  15. bridget michele mckenzie remolde

    I love it so much, my family really enjoy it a lot.

  16. Your were night mare

    I love it

  17. Isa

    The original pink lemonade was actually lemonade with coloring added. Legend has it that a circus vendor left a bucket of lemonade sitting out and a performer thought it was wash water and soaked his red tights in it. The vendor removed the tights and the lemonade was pink! He sold it anyway and, surprisingly, it sold better than regular lemonade.

  18. Lisa Morgan

    This does look so very good, as we broil in the heat. Pink is the best!

  19. Kate

    This is going to sound stupid but by lemon juice do you mean fresh squeezed? Or is there a brand of lemon juice I can buy? Thank you :)

    • Elise

      Hello Kate, we use fresh squeezed because we have lemon trees. You can buy lemon juice at the store, though I don’t know of any particular brand to recommend.

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