The Best Lemonade Recipe Includes a Few Twists

As the weather warms and spring blooms into summer, reaching for a refreshing glass of lemonade feels like an obvious choice most days. One of the best things about lemonade is how versatile it is—the tart, lemony flavor mixes well with everything from iced tea to booze to coffee (yup, even coffee!). Because, when life gives you lemons…why make only one kind of lemonade?

Keeping a big batch of homemade lemonade in your fridge means that you’re only ever a few easy steps away from any of these delicious citrusy drinks all summer. So stock up on lemons, and get ready to be sipping easy all season long!

Matcha lemonade

Here at Plated, we’ve totally joined in on the matcha-craze. Matcha’s smooth, green tea flavor can elevate every kind of drink—from coconut water to cocktails, and, yes, even lemonade. The earthy flavor of matcha powder balances perfectly with the tart shock of citrus from the lemonade, making this the perfect on-trend summer pick-me-up.

½ large lemon, peel and pith removed, plus two lemon slices
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
1 cup water
1 cup ice cubes

Place the lemon half, sugar, matcha, water, and ice cubes into a blender.

Blend until completely smooth and the ice has almost melted with only a little slush remaining, about 2 minutes. Strain the mixture into a liquid measuring cup to catch any seeds or pith.

Pour into 2 glasses, add ice, and serve with straws and slices of lemon.

Beer + lemonade (aka, shandy)

(adapted from Epicurious)

While many beer makers bottle their own shandy varieties, this tasty, light bevvy is easy enough to make at home with your lemonade and a favorite brew.

1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ cups water
¾  cup fresh lemon juice (squeezed from about 3 lemons)
1 bottle of your favorite beer (wheat beer or session IPAs work best here)
Lemon slices, for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and forms a syrup; let cool.

In a pitcher, combine the syrup with the lemon juice and 1 ½ cups water. Chill until cold.

Split the beer between two chilled glasses, and top with lemonade. Garnish with lemon slices and serve cold.

Iced tea + lemonade (aka, Arnold Palmer)

Arnold Palmers—a mix of black tea and lemonade—are a classic summer drink, but most bottled, store-bought versions contain a ton of added sugar and unnecessary ingredients. Making your own at home is super simple—and you can double or even triple the recipe to keep a big pitcher in your fridge for any time you get a craving (which, let’s face it, is always).

2–3 black tea bags (use more tea bags for a stronger tea flavor)
1 cup lemon juice (from about 4–6 lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups water, divided
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Put 2–3 tea bags in a heat-safe pitcher or bowl.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling pour the water over the tea bags. Let the tea steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and set the tea aside to cool.

Juice the lemons, and add the lemon juice to the cooling tea.

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved into a simple syrup, stir occasionally. Let cool. Add the simple syrup to the tea and lemon mixture. Add less than the full cup for a less sweet tea.

Add one cup of water to the pitcher, adding more to taste. Put in the refrigerator to cool completely. Serve in a glass over ice, with a lemon wedge for garnish.

Coffee lemonade

We featured this one in our trending coffee recipe roundup a few months ago, but it’s worth mentioning again as we move into the warmer months. Coffee and lemonade—two seemingly disparate flavors—work surprisingly well together, and whipping up a batch at home is crazy easy. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a fruity frappé, try this recipe.

Vodka lemonade

We couldn’t do lemonade list without including one of our favorite boozy combos—lemonade and vodka. But we’re not talking your run of the mill, college party mixed drink. We’ve taken this classic combo and made it #adult with the addition of fresh herbs, just-squeezed lemon juice, and crushed ice, to create a cocktail that’s more suited for a fancy brunch than a house party. Pinkies up!

Hibiscus lemonade 

We love how the warmer months bring a pop of color to our everyday lives, from the flowers and the bright blue sky to the rainbows of summer produce at the market. This shockingly red, berry hibiscus lemonade fits right in with the colors of the season—and we promise, it’s as satisfying to drink as it is to Instagram.

1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed and rinsed
2 cups fresh raspberries, rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups boiling water
4 hibiscus tea bags
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup cold water

In a medium saucepan, mix strawberries, raspberries, and sugar. Heat over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries release their juices and sugar is dissolved.

Using an immersion blender or in a regular blender, puree berry mixture until smooth. Pour mixture through fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl; press berries to extract as much puree as possible. Discard solids; set berry syrup aside to cool to room temperature.

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, combine boiling water and tea bags; let steep 5 minutes. Remove bags; set tea aside to cool.

In large pitcher, mix lemon juice and water. Add cooled berry syrup and hibiscus tea; stir well to combine. Serve over ice.

Boozy lemonade pop

When the weather turns steamy, there’s nothing more revitalizing than a cold, sweet ice pop—except maybe a cold, sweet, boozy ice pop. We like ours with gin, lemonade, and lavender, but the flavor combination possibilities are endless. So, break out those childhood popsicle molds, grab your favorite liquor of choice, and start experimenting!

Did you know Plated also offers dessert? Try it today!

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