Old Fashioned Pink Lemonade

DrinkFavorite SummerLemonade

Old fashioned homemade pink lemonade with fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup of sugar and water, and cranberry juice for color. This pink lemonade is the cherry top to summer days.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

What makes pink lemonade pink? Doesn’t the canned stuff just has 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.)

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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 to 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.

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 simple syrup: Heat 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.

3 Chill for an hour, or add ice to cool.

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Perfect lemonade

Low carb cranberry cooler

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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20 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tina

    Absolutely delicious . I used real lemons and cranberry juice.


  2. Crystal

    Isa, ewww! So people unwittingly bought lemonade with dirty foot flavor in it? Hope it’s not a true story cause that is gross! lol

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  3. mel

    Why not fresh squeezed lemons and fresh cranberries and some sugar. Just droppnthe fresh cranberries into a blender and pulverize and the add hot water and suger and blend again. Some a lot healthier than store bought juices.

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  4. 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 :)

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  5. 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.

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