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What is pink lemonade?

What is pink lemonade?

Sweet, rosy and synonymous with summertime, pink lemonade is definitely our favorite drink to beat the heat! But what makes it so different from regular lemonade? 

But for the purists, pink lemonade simply doesn’t fly – largely because lemonades are yellow! Worry not, though, as I’m not here to ruin this massively good summertime beverage for you.

If anything, I’m here to tell you why pink lemonades are the rage nowadays.

Pink lemonade is a rose-tinted beverage that’s been an essential part of the American culture since the late 1800s. Most of you might have witnessed its appearance at pool parties, summer barbecues, theme parks and state fairs. 

Pink lemonade is a very refreshing beverage, much like regular lemonade, and can cool off your thirst in an instant! Let’s see what it’s made of and what makes it so different from the traditional lemonade.

What is pink lemonade made of?

Like a regular lemonade, pink lemonade is made of lemon juice, sugar, and water most of the time. However, since lemons are naturally yellow and produce clear juice, a red or pink natural or artificial food coloring or dye is used to give the beverage a rosy tint. 

To give the lemonade a pink tint and enhance lemons’ flavor, some people also add cranberry juice cocktail, crushed raspberries or strawberries, pomegranate juice syrup, grape juice or even beet extracts. 

While fruits and berries add a delicious kick to the lemonade, most pink lemonade producers add dyes, colors or concentrated grape juice to the mix to give a lovely, cloudy and rosy hue to the beverage. 

Some people think that pink lemonade is made of pink lemons, also known as variegated Eureka lemons. First discovered as a sport in 1931 in Burbank, California, Eureka lemons offer a sweeter taste than regular lemons, especially as they age.

Surprisingly, variegated Eureka lemons produce clear juice, despite having a pink-colored flesh, and are not used in pink lemonade production.

What is the difference between pink lemonade and regular lemonade?

The difference between regular lemonade and pink lemonade is that the former doesn’t contain any dyes, food colorings or flavor enhancers. That’s the reason why it’s mostly clear or cloudy white. 

On the other hand, pink lemonade features added color or flavor variants such as cranberry juice cocktail. When pink lemonade only contains colors or dyes, it tastes exactly like regular lemonade, but when it contains juices or fruit extracts, it has an enhanced flavor and a much exotic taste. 

Both pink and regular lemonade have different origins. Pink lemonade originated in the late 1800s in America. In contrast, in the 13th and 14th century Egypt, traditional lemonade was invented in Africa, when Egyptians mixed lemon juice and sugar to create a drink they called “qatarmizat.”

How to make pink lemonade

If you’re wondering how to make pink lemonade, let me tell you: There’s no right way! 

While the basic ingredients remain the same, there are about a hundred different ways to give a pink tint to the beverage. Here’s a quick and easy recipe that you can follow to make pink lemonade at home:

Recipe for pink lemonade (makes 5 glasses):

1 cup of sugar
4 and a half cups of water
1 cup of lemon juice
3/4th cup of cranberry juice cocktail

Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir well until the sugar is entirely dissolved. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Pour into tall glasses, serve cold over ice and sip away!

The origins of pink lemonade

Even though pink lemonade first arrived in America in the mid-1800s, its history’s often disputed upon. 

According to a carnival historian, a vendor named Pete Conklin, who owned a circus lemonade and peanut stand, ran out of water to make lemonade back in 1857. 

Desperate for some sales, he used pink water from a tub that one circus performer washed her red tights in. He added some lemon slices in it and sold it as “strawberry lemonade.” 

No one knew the pink color was not a strawberry flavor, but just red dye and his sales doubled! 

In another story, in 1912, a circus worker named Henry E. Sanchez Allot mistakenly dropped red cinnamon candies in regular lemonade, which led to the invention of pink lemonade.

The bottom line

While the origins of pink lemonade are unclear to this day, it remains a popular beverage in America and other parts of the world. 

Now that you know what pink lemonade is, you must learn how to make one for yourself and your loved ones and enjoy its cooling sensation all summer long!

Pink lemonade recipe

Pink lemonade recipe

Yield: 5 glasses
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Learn how to make pink lemonade at home with an easy recipe that only requires 4


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 and a half cups of water
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 3/4th cup of cranberry juice cocktail


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher. 
  2. Stir well until the sugar is entirely dissolved. 
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
  4. Pour into tall glasses, serve cold over ice, and sip away!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 0gSugar: 47gProtein: 0g

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