I wasn’t planning on posting any more recipes while on holiday. But the weather in Greece – usually so reliably sunny I don’t think they bother with forecasts – has turned rainy the past couple of days. And not just a bit of a drizzle, which is the semi-permanent state of affairs in the UK, but honest to goodness rain. So while I wait for the sky to clear to venture outside again I thought I would post this recipe for bottled sunshine instead. Pink lemonade happens to be my daughter Anya’s favourite drink in the whole wide world (everything is the BEST THING EVER when you are 9) so she was rather excited when I said I would make her some.
Homemade raspberry lemonade is very easy to make and tastes about a billion times better that the store-bought versions. This would be my drink of choice to serve at a party or barbecue: thirst quenching, refreshing and easy to to turn into a cocktail for the adults with the addition of gin or vodka. The trick is to have the raspberry syrup prepared in advance (I had some leftover from the Eton Mess Cake) and to juice only as many lemons as you need fresh on the day. The lemonade can be mixed to your taste – add a little more syrup if you prefer it sweet or more lemon juice if you like it really tart and lemony.
The guidelines for making the raspberry syrup are quite loose. The less water you add the more concentrated the flavour – remember you will be diluting the syrup anyway with water or soda. I prefer to use frozen raspberries to make it as they are a lot cheaper than the fresh ones and easier to work with. You could use other berries or mixed berries to make different flavour syrups – blackberries and blueberries work especially well.
The ratio that worked for me was 300ml (10fl oz) of raspberry syrup plus 150ml (5fl oz) fresh lemon juice diluted with 1lt bottle of soda water. Adding plenty of fresh ice keeps the drink chilled but will dilute it further as it melts so keep that in mind and add the ice to the glasses and not the jug if it is a particularly hot day. The more ice you add, the less it melts – a bit of a paradox but totally true!
You can buy the 8lt Kilner Drinks Dispenser used in the photos from Silver Mushroom. I received a complimentary product to feature in this post.
- Raspberry syrup
- makes about 600ml (20fl oz)
- 350g | 12.3oz frozen raspberries
- 225g | 8oz | 1 cup caster sugar
- 500ml | 2 cups water (use half the quantity for more concentrated syrup)
- For the lemonade
- 300ml | 10fl oz syrup
- 150ml | 5fl oz fresh lemon juice
- (about 4 large lemons)
- 1 lt chilled soda water or still water to dilute
- For the syrup: bring the frozen raspberries, sugar and water to the boil in a medium pot and simmer for 30 minutes until the syrup is slightly viscous. Let the syrup cool, then strain into a suitable container. Chill completely before using. The cooked raspberries can be added to yoghurt or porridge or used as cake filling.
- Juice the lemons and strain the juice through a fine mesh to get rid of any pulp.
- Combine the syrup and lemon juice in a large jug or drinks dispenser. Dilute with chilled water or soda and add plenty of fresh ice to keep cool.