The temperatures are shifting and summer vacations are calling! Whether hitting the beach on Cape Cod, or breaking out the grill, Summer is on! What better way to celebrate the rising temperatures than with a cold drink! Now, I know what you’re thinking… It’s going to be another cocktail recipe, right? Well, it’s true that I have a large summer cocktail recipe selection, but I’ve heard your requests to create something alcohol free and perfect for the summer! A classic homemade blueberry lemonade recipe that everyone can enjoy. (Bonus: you could add a little hard liquor in there too, to make a delicious cocktail – no judgment!) Let’s learn How to make Homemade Blueberry Lemonade with Fresh Blueberries & Lemon!
What are the Ingredients Needed to Make Homemade Blueberry Lemonade?
This blueberry lemonade recipe is really easy to make from scratch, and you only need a few simple ingredients. Everything can be found at your local grocery store and whipped up in minutes! For me, it’s the freshly squeezed lemon juice that really makes this lemonade recipe shine!
Ingredients for a Batch of Easy Blueberry Lemonade
- Fresh lemons
- Mint or edible flowers for garnish
How do you Make Blueberry Lemonade at Home?
The process is super simple. This drink is perfect for lazy afternoons or long, summer nights! You’ll start by making a traditional simple syrup, infused with sweet, fresh blueberries. The blueberries must cook down until they are thick and syrup-like, which takes 15 minutes or so. After simmering, strain the blueberries through a fine-mesh strainer and chill.
Now, comes the fun part; juicing all those beautiful fresh lemons! But before you mix everything up, you’ll need to make a few serving decisions! To make lemonade, of course you’ll be mixing the pitcher of lemon juice and water together, adding blueberry syrup until it tastes right for you. Sometimes you might prefer to add the whole batch of blueberry simple syrup to the pitcher, and mix with ice, but there’s also the option to individually shake up your berry lemonade in tall glasses.
I’ve created this gorgeous gradient effect you can see in the photos above by adding a few tablespoons of the fruit simple syrup to the glass first, layering a handful of ice on top, and then finally pouring my lemonade mixture over the ice. Because the simple syrup is more dense than the lemonade liquid, it mainly stays on the bottom of the glass until you stir it (Mention this to your guests ahead of time, otherwise, you’ll get all of the sour lemon juice with none of the sweetness!). Garnish with flowers, and you have an Instagram-worthy drink for the summer!
Equipment for Making this Berry Lemonade Recipe;
- Small saucepan
- Citrus juicer
- Wood spoon
- Measuring cup
How Long does it Take to Make Blueberry Lemonade from Scratch?
Not long at all! This is a great last-minute drink recipe for small and large parties alike! It takes about 10 minutes to juice lemons, and about 15 minutes to prepare your blueberry simple syrup. You can also prepare all of these steps the night before. Assembling is a breeze too!
You could save even more time by creating a DYI lemonade bar for your guests; simply place the pitcher of lemon juice mixed with water, out along with the blueberry simple syrup in jars. Fill several glasses with ice and let you guests decide how sweet or tart they want their summer beverage to be! You can even whip up some more berry flavored syrups for variety (see more about that at the end of the post!). This is such an easy recipe that can be made ahead of time and served on the porch with friends.
Can Blueberry Lemonade Drinks be Made without Sugar?
Yes! Homemade blueberry lemonade is refreshing, sweet and tart. Alternative sweeteners like agave or stevia can be used to sweeten up the lemonade mix. Because the blueberries are high in natural fruit pectin, they will still cook down to a syrupy consistency. I wouldn’t advice forgoing sweetener altogether. Natural lemon juice is quite assertive, and you need that sweetness to balance the drink. The recipe has a slight sweet flavor without being cloying, and can easily be made into cocktails with liquor or sparkling wines.
How to Make a Blueberry Simple Syrup
To make a delicious and easy blueberry syrup, place the blueberries, sugar, water, and a small squeeze of lemon juice into a saucepan. Heat the water and sugar in a pot, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook while stirring occasionally until jammy, about 10 minutes or so. You can also mash the berries to release even more juices with a potato masher or spatula.
After cooking, let cool slightly. Strain the liquid from berries in a large sieve placed over a medium mixing bowl, by pressing them. Transfer the syrup to a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid and chill.
How do you Make this Recipe into a Blueberry Lemon Cocktail?
If you are looking to jazz up your homemade blueberry lemonade glass, to quench your thirst? You can add 2 ounces of your favorite clear spirit or sparkling wine (see below)! I prefer clear liquors, so that they don’t compete with the bright flavors of this citrus berry drink recipe. If you’re looking to add some fizz, but not the alcohol, adding club soda is another great variation!
What Liquors Taste Great with this Blueberry Lemonade Recipe?
This recipe contains no alcohol, but you may add it if desired. The ingredients can be easily adjusted based on personal taste, so the proportions are flexible. Who can say no to a tart, sweet, blueberry vodka lemonade that will refresh you on the hottest of days! You don’t have to be as exact with measurements for this type of drink, so your guests can be creative! I find that about 2 ounces is the right amount for me. Blueberry lemonade pairs beautifully with the following spirits;
- Citrus or coconut flavored vodka
- Floral or herbaceous gin
- Sparkling wine
Spiked Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail Variations;
~ To make a Blueberry Vodka Lemonade; add 2 ounces of premium vodka to your glass
~ Love gin? Create a Blueberry Lemon Gin Fizz by adding 1.5 ounces of floral gin + 1 ounce of soda water
~ Have tequila? Make a Lemon Blueberry Paloma by adding 2 ounces of reposado tequila to your drink
What are Some Creative Ways to Serve Blueberry Lemonade?
This is where my creative juices get going! Whether in a pitcher or a glass, this homemade blueberry lemonade recipe is a great canvas for imaginative serving! I prefer to serve these lemon chillers in tall collins glasses, with plenty of ice and edible flowers, but you could also serve them in mason jars or up cycled jam jars for a country chic look. Old-fashioned glass tumblers would be adorable too, especially if you make some fancy ice cubes with blueberries or edible flowers already frozen inside them. Vintage colored wine goblets can make for an upscale wedding-perfect blueberry lemonade option too, garnished with citrus wheels and a few springs of mint. The possibility are endless!
Can I Substitute other Berries to Make a Berry Lemonade?
Absolutely! The possibilities are endless! You can swap out the amount of fresh (or frozen!) blueberries for any fruit you think will pair well. Fresh or frozen, simply add to a pot with sugar and water.
Homemade Lemonade Flavor Variations;
These are a couple of recipe suggestions for different variations of homemade blueberry lemonade.A wide variety of berries or fruits can be used to make a custom simple syrup flavor mixture!
- Strawberry Lemonade; Add 3 tablespoons of finished strawberry simple syrup to your glass, and fill to the top with lemonade.
- Blueberry Lavender Lemonade; Using the same blueberry simple syrup recipe above, add 1 tablespoon of dried food-grade lavender and boil. Prepare as written.
- Ripe Peach Lemonade; Swap out the blueberries for slices of fresh or frozen peaches, and make the syrup as directed. Add three tablespoons of finished syrup per glass of lemonade.
- Fresh Mint Lemonade; Muddle 5 leaves of fresh mint and add to a glass with 3 tablespoons of plain simple syrup. Fill with unsweetened lemonade.
Can I Use Bottled Lemonade instead of Fresh Lemon Juice in this Recipe?
Yes, you could substitute bottled lemonade for fresh lemons in this recipe. However, I always like to use freshly squeezed lemon juice when possible. It’s the best way to control the sweetness level and ensure the flavor quality. If you are in a pinch for time, you can skip the lemon juice and water portion of the recipe, and add the fruit flavored syrup to taste.
More Delicious Summer Drink Recipes
Straight to the Hips, Baby offers a wide range of drink recipes that are perfect for all of your summer entertaining! Just tap the link below to find out more!
Perfect pink and bubbly, this new take on an easy summer spritzer with Aperol, will be a party hit! only 5 ingredients!
A tropical take on a classic rum daiquiri! Featuring sweet pineapple juice, coconut milk, tart red hibiscus tea and dark rum.
The easy-to-make thyme/grapefruit peel/chili-pepper simple syrup is the secret to making this Pink Grapefruit Paloma with Spicy Thyme Simple Syrup totally next-level amazing!
A refreshing combination with coconut milk, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and reposado tequila. Shaken up until frothy and cold, this is a dreamy, creamy, dairy-free cocktail that feels like a cool breeze on a summer’s day!
Homemade Blueberry Lemonade with Blueberry Simple Syrup
For the Lemonade Base;
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice about 6 large lemons
- 3 cups of cold water
- 1 cup plus more to taste blueberry simple syrup
For the Blueberry Simple Syrup;
- 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries you can also substitute strawberries or cherries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
To Make the Blueberry Simple Syrup;
- Combine the blueberries, water, and sugar into medium sized saucepan and place of medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring to a low boil. Let cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat. Using a potato masher, gently press the fruit to release the juices. Let cool slightly.
- Using a fine mesh sieve and rubber spatula, strain the syrup into a large bowl, and press down on the solids to release any extra juices. Discard the solids.
- Pour the blueberry simple syrup into a glass jar with a tightly fitted lid. Chill.
To Make the Lemonade Base;
- Juice the lemons and add to a large pitcher. Add in the 3 cups of water and stir.
To Make the Blueberry Lemonade;
- Version #1 Add 1 cup (plus more to taste) of the blueberry simple syrup to the lemonade base and stir. Taste and adjust the sweetness. Add ice to the pitcher and enjoy!
- Version #2 Using individual tall Collins glasses, add 2-3 tablespoons of the fruit syrup, and then fill the glass 3/4 full of ice.
- Next, slowly pour the lemonade base. The drink will have this wonderful color gradient. Garnish with edible flowers and mint. Don’t forget to stir your drink before enjoying!