Blueberry Lemonade ~ it’s fresh squeezed, updated with a vivid berry puree, and hydrates like nobody’s business ~ it’s definitely THE drink of the season!
There isn’t a person alive who’ll turn down a tall icy glass of this fruity lemonade. I like to keep a jar of blueberry puree in the fridge all summer long so I can whip up a pitcher any time I get the urge. It’s the perfect beverage for parties and picnics, but it’s a healthy way to quench your everyday thirst, too. It makes so much sense for kids ~ this all natural fruit drink is as colorful and delicious as their favorite soda, but so much better for them.
TIP: If your kids are hooked on sugary soda, try making this lemonade with carbonated water!
One of the perks of living in Southern California is that there’s a lemon tree in almost every backyard. As kids my girls used to love harvesting the fallen lemons and mixing up huge vats of lemonade on the back porch. They squeezed away until they were so sticky they had to jump in the pool, leaving me to clean up the mess. But it was worth it, fresh lemonade is world’s away from the bottled stuff. Even if you don’t have a backyard tree, it’s worth lugging home a bag of lemons for this, trust me. (And I’ll give you instructions for a single serving, too, don’t worry.)
If you search for a basic lemonade recipe on the Internet, almost every one of them will call for a simple syrup. In other words, they’ll have you heat a mixture of sugar and water together in a saucepan, (or in the microwave,) until the sugar dissolves. Then you need to cool it down before you can use it to sweeten your lemonade. Well, I’m here to tell you that that’s horsefeathers! There’s no need to go to the trouble, sugar dissolves easily in water, so we’ll add ours directly to the lemonade and save the extra steps. You can use the amount I suggest, or adjust it to your taste.
You’re in control of the amount of sweetener you add to this homemade blueberry lemonade ~ for those of you who don’t do cane sugar, use honey, agave, or your favorite alternative.
I used a pint of fresh blueberries for this colorful lemonade variation ~ that gives you enough to flavor a pitcher-ful. Cooking the berries briefly first brings out their flavor and color, and when you stir the puree into the lemonade, the transformation is beautiful.
Have you ever wondered why sometimes blueberries are red, sometimes purple, and other times blue?
Their pigments are called anthocyanins, and they are the same ones in red cabbage, black rice, blood oranges, and Concord grapes. Their color changes depending on their pH, and that’s why red cabbage turns from purple to red when you cook it with vinegar, and this blueberry puree, which looks deep purple on its own, turns to a gorgeous magenta shade when mixed into the acidic lemonade. It also happens when I make PICKLED RED ONIONS. These are the same pigments responsible for the reds and purples in fall leaves, isn’t that cool?
I like to keep glasses in the freezer and pull them out just before I need them. The blueberry lemonade will be extra frosty that way.
I use my favorite wide mouthed mason jars for serving, and because lemonade just cries out for a straw I keep a stash of both striped paper and eco-friendly stainless steel straws on hand. If I’m serving a crowd, I’ll fill a big glass drink dispenser. Click on the photos more more info.
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This is just the latest example of my ongoing obsession with blueberries and lemon. I highly recommend my BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI SNACK CAKE WITH LEMON BUTTERCREAM, or my BLUEBERRY LEMON SHORTCAKE, if you think you might have caught the obsession too ;)
- 4 1/2 cups water
- I cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (juice of 5-6 lemons)
- 1/2 sugar (or an appropriate amount of your favorite alternative)
- 1 1/2 cups blueberry puree (recipe below)
- 1 pint (2 cups fresh blueberries)
- 1/2 cup water
- First make the blueberry puree ~ rinse the berries and put them in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until softened and deep purple. Puree the mixture in a blender until completely smooth. Put in the refrigerate to chill.
- To make the lemonade, put the water and lemon juice into a pitcher, add the sugar, and stir to dissolve. Add most of the blueberry puree (you may not want to use all the puree, taste and adjust the amount to your liking.) Mix well and chill until ready to serve.
Make it your own:
- For a single serving of blueberry lemonade, mix 1 cup water with the juice of 1 lemon. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, and stir until it dissolves. Mix in about 3 tablespoons of the blueberry puree. Chill and serve over ice.
- Try this with raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries.
- If you need to, you can use frozen berries.