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Monday, June 25, 2018

Homemade berry lemonade -- pennies a glass

If you happen to have an excess of berries this summer, berry lemonade is both thrifty and delicious. I've used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries to flavor lemonade made with bottled lemon juice and sugar.

This past month, I've focused on using up surplus frozen, wild blackberries from previous years. The procedure for making berry lemonade is the same for all berries. Simply mash or puree the berries, press through a sieve with the back of a spoon, and stir in lemon juice, sugar, and water.

For 2 quarts of berry lemonade, use:

1 to 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen berries (thaw first, if frozen)
7/8 to 1 cup sugar, depending on taste
scant 1 cup lemon juice
water to the 2 quart level

Berry lemonade is an excellent use for berries that are going soft, or are overripe when picking, as their soft texture will make them easier to mash. I use a vegetable masher in a bowl with the berries, then follow up by pushing the berry pulp through a sieve set over my pitcher. If the berries are very sweet, then less sugar is required. And likewise, if the berries are tart, then you may prefer the greater amount of sugar.

My cost for homemade berry lemonade (using homegrown or wild-picked berries) is about 7 cents per glass, about one-third of the cost of store-brand berry lemonade from frozen concentrate (at about 20 cents/glass), and twice as flavorful.


  1. A very good way to use up overripe berries.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      One of my daughters marked a ziploc bag for the freezer, of very ripe and falling apart blackberries picked last summer with "blackberries that have seen better days." These were the very soft ones, and really were best suited for pancake syrup or flavoring tea or lemonade.

  2. We have lots of red raspberries a luncheon Thursday....must put on the meny...yum! Thank you!

  3. Have lots of red raspberries a luncheon Thursday...must add to the menu...yum! Thank you!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I hope your luncheon goes well. Raspberry lemonade sounds delicious!

  4. I love that idea. Thanks for sharing!

  5. It had never occurred to me to use bottled lemon juice for lemonade till I read it on your blog. I am thirsty just reading your post. Looks like something you would pay a lot of money for in a nice restaurant.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I think you're right. I imagine a berry lemonade in a restaurant would be priced around $3 to $4 per serving. I just checked online, and Red Robin (the burger restaurant), has a strawberry lemonade on their menu for $4.49. Wow!

      I have mostly used bottled lemon juice for lemonade over the years. I think it's way more affordable, unless you grow your own lemon trees, and much easier. If I wanted to add an authentic pulpiness to a pitcher of lemonade, I would maybe add 1 fresh-squeezed lemon to a large pitcher, in addition to the bottled lemon juice. Or for visual interest, slices of a lemon. That's what I did for an ice mold for the punchbowl of blackberry lemonade, sliced lemon in lemonade, frozen in a Cool-whip container. When the frozen lemonade melted, the lemon slices floated in the punchbowl.

    2. Love the Cool-whip container idea. I've bought lemonade concentrate before and sliced a real lemon in it to fancy it up a bit.

      A restaurant near us makes rhubarb lemonade--I've only had it a couple of times but boy is it refreshing! I've checked out recipes online but have yet to try them--I kinda hate to use our sparse supply of rhubarb that way.

    3. I think the Cool-whip ice mold looked really pretty in the dark red blackberry lemonade, a floating round of white with some lemon slices visible near the surface. My mom used to make ice rings, in a ring-shaped jello mold. That was pretty.

      I've made rhubarb lemonade a lot, as rhubarb is the other thing (in addition to wild blackberries) of which we always have an abundance. But if yours is sparse, I'd hate to use it for that, too. Maybe later in the summer when you've got lots of other fruits available.
      This is how I make the rhubarb lemonade. I don't know if others do it differently. My recipe uses 2-3 stalks of rhubarb to make about 1 1/4 qts of beverage.

      recipe here:

  6. Here is another way to make a pretty ice ring to float in a punch bowl. Put a small amount of water with berries, lemon, and/or mint leaves into the bottom of a bunt cake pan and freeze. To use, just dip the bottom of the pan into hot water to release the ice. This is easy and pretty and gives another use to bunt cake pan.

    1. That ice ring sounds beautiful! I will keep that in mind for future events.


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