Homemade Pink Lemonade

Homemade pink lemonade is a classic recipe to make on a hot summer day. This version is made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and gets its pink color from real cranberry juice instead of artificial colors.

Pouring a glass of pink lemonade from a pitcher into a glass garnished with lemon

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Why is pink lemonade so much more appealing than regular lemonade?

What makes pink lemonade pink? Doesn't the canned stuff just have food dye in it to make it pink? I haven't bought canned pink lemonade in decades so don't really know. (But just in case you're curious too, Joe Sevier at Epicurious has some theories.)

How To Make Pink Lemonade

I'm guessing the canned stuff we grew up with is pink only through the addition of artificial dyes. But we don't need to do that.

You know the easiest way to make lemonade pink? Add some cranberry juice!

Unsweetened cranberry juice is tart, just like unsweetened lemon juice. All we need to do to turn our homemade lemonade pink is to incorporate some cranberry juice into the mix.

We make a simple syrup by heating water and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then we mix it with lemon juice, cranberry juice, and some more water. Add a few ice cubes and we're done!

Isn't it pretty? It's the perfect refreshing cooler for a hot summer day.

Two glasses of pink lemonade garnished with lemon rounds. A wooden spoon and pitcher are next to the glasses.

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

More Fruity Drinks to Try!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Homemade Pink Lemonade

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar

  • 4 cups water, divided

  • 1 cup cranberry juice

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Make the simple syrup:

    Heat sugar (use 1 1/4 cups of sugar if you'll be using unsweetened cranberry juice) and 1 cup of the water in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and let it cool.

    Sugar diluting in a pot of water to make a pink lemonade recipe.
    Ciara Kehoe
  2. Combine the liquids, stir:

    Combine the remaining water, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a pitcher. Make adjustments to taste. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

    Stirring a pitcher to show how to make pink lemonade.
    Ciara Kehoe
  3. Chill, then serve:

    Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour, or add in ice to cool the lemonade.

    Overhead view of two glasses of pink lemonade garnished with lemon.
    Ciara Kehoe
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
186 Calories
0g Fat
48g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 186
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 46g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 75mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.