Sparkling Pink Lemonade with berries and mint is so refreshing during hot summer days and is always a huge hit with adults and kids. You’ll love the sweet mixed berries, tart lemons, and sparkling water stirred together with simple syrup! As written, this lemonade is great for kids, but it's easy and delicious to add a shot of vodka for a hard adults only drink.
6-8mediumlemonsmore if the lemons are on the small side
Place water, mint sprigs, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has entirely dissolved.
Remove the syrup from heat. Cover and steep for 15 minutes, then remove mint leaves from syrup and set aside. (If you omit the mint, there is obviously no need to steep. Simply remove the pan from the burner, cover, and set aside until you are ready to add it into the lemonade.)
Squeeze lemons using a citrus press, measuring a full cup juice (it should take 5 medium or 7 small). Slice remaining lemons into 1/4" slices.
Using a mortar and pestle, smash half each strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries and dump into the large drink dispenser. Alternately, you could also use a muddler or even a wooden spoon to muddle the berries directly in the drink dispenser if preferred.
Add syrup, lemon juice, remaining berries and lemon slices to pitcher. Stir to combine.
Just before serving, add sparkling water and ice, if desired. Garnish with extra berries, lemon slices, and/or fresh mint.
It is not necessary to dry the berries after rinsing if you are using them fresh, as you will be adding them into liquid anyway. Do dry them if you are freezing them before making lemonade. A berry spinner is a must for this purpose.
Soda water or seltzer water can be used in place of sparkling water. Tonic water is something different and will make the lemonade have a slightly bitter flavor (which I don't personally like). Alternately, if you don't want carbonation, see below for instructions for a still version.
This lemonade is also good without carbonation. If that is preferred, just add 8-1/2 cups (68 ounces) of regular drinking water in place of the sparkling water. (Bariatric patients like me typically cannot drink carbonated beverages. It makes our smaller than normal stomachs hurt like you wouldn't believe.)
Sparkling pink lemonade can easily be converted to an alcoholic cocktail by adding your choice of vodka (citrus flavored is good here) to each glass of lemonade one shot at a time until the desired potency is reached.
This recipe as written will produce lemonade with a slight minty taste. You can leave the mint out altogether or steep more mint in the syrup in steps 1 and 2 if you want a stronger flavor.
I recommend a drink dispenser because it is large enough to hold the entire recipe (which will make 80 ounces of liquid, plus the berries and any ice you add) plus, it pours from the bottom rather than the top. If you use a pitcher, you must use a glass or stainless steel pitcher as lemon will leach chemicals out of most plastics. If you do go the pitcher route, I would recommend a large glass pitcher with a removable strainer, if possible, so that all that berry goodness stays in the pitcher rather than flowing out into the first couple of glasses poured. You can always remove the lid to scoop out a bit of berries when serving. A strainer lets you control this rather than have it all plop out at the same time.