This refreshing Cherry Lemonade is the perfect summer drink! This easy recipe does not require blending or filtering, and tastes fantastic! Make it sparkly or with regular water - either way you will LOVE this fresh take on pink lemonade!!
Is there anything better than homemade lemonade made with FRESH lemon juice?? Only if it's CHERRY LEMONADE, made with homemade cherry syrup!!
This cherry lemonade has NO artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and is made with just a few simple ingredients. Unlike most recipes, it requires no blending or filtering out cherry bits from the blender, so this easy summer cherry-flavored lemonade cannot get any easier to make.
Admittedly, this lemonade does not have a super bright red color to it, but that's because it doesn't have any artificial maraschino cherry color of flavor. All the natural cherry flavor is mixed right into the lemonade thanks to the cherry simple syrup.
The only tricky part to this cherry lemonade recipe is that you need to prepare a cherry syrup ahead of time, and give it time to chill in the fridge. If you're impatient (hi! that's me!) or forgot to make the syrup in advance (also me, sometimes), you can certainly use warm syrup and just use 2-3 cups of ice instead of water to quickly chill this lemonade.
It's easy and so worth it. Trust me.
Ready to get started??
Related recipe: Mulberry Iced Tea
- ¾ cups fresh lemon juice (from about 6-8 small/medium lemons)
- ¾ cup cherry syrup (or see instructions below for how to make it)
- 4-5 cups fresh or sparkling water (or use 2 cups each sparkling and flat water to start, then add more sparkling or regular water, to taste)
- Optional: fresh mint or basil leaves for garnish, or fresh cherries
- Ice for serving
Use FRESHLY SQUEEZED lemon juice for the freshest flavor! Get a few extra lemons just in case you don't have super juicy lemons, so you don't have to run out to buy more lemons halfway through this recipe. I love using this citrus juicer when I need to juice several lemons. Of course, if you have bottled lemon juice you need to use up, go ahead and use that.
Related recipe: Honey Ginger Limeade
Step 1: Hopefully you have homemade cherry syrup ahead of time and it's at room temperature or chilled, right?? If not, no worries. To make a super quick cherry syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup tart cherry juice in a small saucepan or pot, bring to a gentle boil, stirring a few times to prevent burning, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. If you want, you can stir in a few frozen bing cherries to this syrup, so you can add them to the lemonade. Voila! Cherry syrup ready to make cherry lemonade!
Ideally, you have time to chill this syrup before making lemonade, but if not, read step 2 carefully.
Step 2: In a large pitcher or bowl, combine ¾ cup of the cherry syrup (use any leftover syrup for pancakes, or for drizzling over ice cream!), ¾ cup fresh lemon juice, and 3-4 cups of fresh or sparking water. Stir together, and add more water or syrup, to taste. Chill before serving, then serve over ice, garnishing with fresh lemon slices, cherries, and/or fresh herbs, such as basil or mint leaves.
If using warm syrup, add 3 cups of ice + 1 cup water, stir, and then adjust the flavor with additional syrup, water, or lemon juice, to taste.
Related recipe: Mulberry Mojitos
Make sparkling cherry lemonade
You can use seltzer or sparking water to make sparkling cherry lemonade (try using cherry seltzer for more cherry flavor!!). However, I find straight-up seltzer to be wayyy too bubbly for lemonade, so I like to mix the seltzer with water so the lemonade is just slightly bubbly and perfectly refreshing.
Related recipe: Watermelon Martini
Make cherry limeade
Try it with fresh lime juice instead of fresh lemon juice!
Related recipe: Minty Green Iced Tea
Make it minty
Use a mojito muddler to muddle ½ cup fresh mint leaves to release their minty-ness, and add that right to the lemonade. It won't taste minty, but it will have a slightly refreshing flavor!!
Related recipe: Watermelon Salad with Honey Lime Mint Dressing
This lemonade is fantastic with a little vodka or gin added to it. 🙂
Related recipe: Raspberry Mojitos
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
- ¾ cups fresh lemon juice - (from about 6-8 small/medium lemons)
- ¾ cup cherry syrup - (or see instructions below for how to make it)
- 4-5 cups water
- Optional: fresh mint or basil leaves, or fresh cherries - for garnish
- Ice for serving
- Large bowl or pitcher
- In a large pitcher or bowl, combine ¾ cup fresh lemon juice, ¾ cup of the cherry syrup (use any remaining syrup for pancakes, or for drizzling over ice cream!), and 3-4 cups water. Stir together, and add more up to 1 more cup of water or a few tablespoons of syrup, to taste.
- Chill before serving, then serve over ice, garnishing with fresh lemon slices, cherries, and/or fresh herbs, such as basil or mint leaves.
- To make cherry syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup tart cherry juice in a small saucepan or pot, bring to a gentle boil, stirring a few times to prevent burning, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. If you want, you can stir in a few frozen bing cherries to this syrup, so you can add them to the lemonade.
- If you are using warm freshly-made syrup and want to enjoy the lemonade immediately, substitute 2 cups of water for 3 cups of ice, so the ice cools down the syrup immediately.
- Use FRESHLY SQUEEZED lemon juice for the freshest flavor! Or try this with fresh lime juice instead.
- Try using sparking water instead of fresh water, or 50/50 sparkling water and fresh water!
- Try muddling fresh mint leaves and adding to the lemonade, or spiking it with vodka or gin!
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.