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8 Creative Ways to Boost Your Lemonade

Jennifer Causey

A classic that's just as refreshing as it is iconic, lemonade is a summertime drink requirement. While the traditional recipe of lemon juice, sugar, and water is great, sometimes it could stand to be pepped up a bit. Whether you want it more fruity, spicy, or boozy, we've got eight suggestions to mix up your summer drink game. 

Lemonade is a class can't-be-beat summertime beverage of choice. We like it just as it is, made simply with fresh lemon juice, sugar, and water. But even those of us who prefer things as classic as they come can stand to shake things up from time to time. We're offering eight creative ways to take your cup of lemonade and add a fresh twist.

  • Add Fresh Fruit: Lemons pair wonderfully with several different fruits. To get pink lemonade, try a splash of either strawberry or raspberry juices. For a more tropical twist, mango and pineapple juices add a nice orange-y hue.
  • Freeze It: While lemonade is itself refreshing, it improves ten-fold when frozen. Either blend pre-made lemonade with ice cubes (for an easy slushie), or freeze solid and scrape with a fork to make a tart granita. 
  • Make It Bubbly: Bubbles make everything better, and lemonade is no exception. Just replace your recipe's usual amount of water with sparkling water to make a fun fizzy drink. 
  • Fire Up the Grill: Drinking lemonade by the grill is a classic summertime scene. Combine those two things though to make one unique lemonade. Grill your halved lemons before juicing them to add a smoky depth.
  • Mix in Herbs: Sprinkling in a few herbs while making your simple syrup can result in a flavor filled drink. Classic inclusions are lavender or mint, but feel free to branch out to other options like rosemary or basil. 
  • Spice it Up: Spicy and sweet combos are sometimes the best. For a kickin' lemonade, infuse your simple syrup with a halved and seeded jalapeño, or add a few drops of habanero hot sauce to your finished pitcher.
  • Add a Tea Twist: Since making simple syrup involves boiling water, why not just toss in a few tea bags while you're at it? Great additions include hibiscus for a lovely red color, herbal teas, or oolong Chinese tea.
  • Get Boozy: Lemonade is, of course, a family favorite, but sometimes a little bit of spiking is required. Rosé, citrus vodka, and gin all combine beautifully with traditional yellow lemonade. Mix and match the previous options for unique cocktails. Spicy lemonade margaritas, anyone?

If you're hosting a backyard barbecue or poolside party, serve up a few of these ideas in big pitchers so guests can try a variety of options. You never know when you'll soon be famous for your Spiked Raspberry Basil Lemonade, or your Sparkling Blueberry Lavender Lemonade.