This cherry lemonade is a brightly colored and brightly flavored twist on the classic. Making it with real lemons and cherries makes the flavors pop, with natural vibrant color as well. Easy, delicious and so refreshing.
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Gradually over the years, homemade lemonade in various forms is one of those things the kids request on the summer. It's easy to understand why, as the flavors are so good and it's nicely refreshing. They're also both inherited our love of citrus.
Typically their favorite is limonana, mint lemonade, though they also quite like watermelon lemonade when the fruit is at it's best. This cherry version is a more recent addition to the line up and was also an instant winner.
Ingredients in cherry lemonade
The ingredients for this drink are really simple: cherries, lemon, sugar and water. That's it! Then some ice to serve to keep it nice and cool as you enjoy.
You can use either fresh or frozen cherries for this, both will work just fine. Whichever you use, make sure you pit them before blending as you don't want stones in there.
For the lemon, use freshly squeezed lemon juice as the bottled stuff really doesn't compare. I know it's convenient and saves a bit of work, but this is something where you really taste the lemon flavor, so you will absolutely tell the difference and it's worth the tiny bit of effort.
Tips for making this
For some lemonade recipes I prefer to make a simple syrup in order to add the sugar, just to make sure it dissolves properly. A simple syrup is simple equal parts sugar and water heated together so that the sugar dissolves.
You can do that here if you prefer (just reduce the water you add later by the amount you use for the syrup), but typically the sugar dissolves fine when you blend it with the fruit and lemon, as long as it's not a coarse sugar.
Depending on your blender, you may want to strain the cherry-lemon syrup after you blend it to get out any chunks of skin. However with a high speed blender it should be sufficiently small pieces that this isn't necessary.
Top tip: do a taste test
Give the cherry-lemon syrup a taste after you make it - it will of course be stronger than the end drink, but you will get a good sense of the level of sweetness and tartness.
I prefer slightly more tart/less sweet but you can add a little more sugar if you prefer it sweeter. Or add more lemon if the tartness is not coming through enough.
You can make the cherry-lemon syrup ahead and store it in the fridge or two before making up the final drink. Just be sure to give the mixture a good stir as it can settle over time.
I prefer to store just the base rather than the end drink so it separates less (as well as taking up less space), though you can store leftovers that are made up, too.
The cherry-lemon syrup base works with both still and sparkling water, as you prefer. I would typically use around one part of the syrup to two parts water, but if you prefer more of the cherry-lemon flavor, then use less water. I have written it as around 1 part syrup to 1 ½ parts water to start as it's easier to adjust up the water than down.
This cherry lemonade is a wonderful mix of refreshing tartness and bright fruitiness. It has a lovely mix of flavors and is both sweet and tart at the same time. Perfect to cool you down and for all the family to enjoy.
Try these other cooling drinks:
- Cucumber agua fresca
- Papaya lemonade
- Cantaloupe agua fresca
- Blueberry lemonade
- Plus get more drinks recipes in the archives.
- 1 cup cherries pitted volume/weight
- ⅓ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups water or around 2 to be lighter, less for stronger
- Place the pitted cherries, lemon juice and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth and well mixed. I'd suggest tasting at this time to see if you need any more sugar, if you prefer sweeter, or lemon, if you prefer more tart (it will be stronger than end drink but you should have good sense of flavor). If you like, you can strain to remove any skins but if you have a high speed blender, this probably isn't needed. You can keep this syrup in the fridge for a day and then stir before using.
- To serve, add the water and stir well. I'd suggest adding on the lower side first and then seeing if it is the strength you want. Serve over ice.