Sparkling raspberry lemonade is the ideal refreshing and celebratory beverage to say, “hello, summer!” Made from scratch with just four simple ingredients. You’ll want to be sipping one all summer long!
Perhaps the only summer food that excites me more than a tub of strawberries is a basket of raspberries. In my book, it’s not exaggerating to say that raspberries may be nature’s very best food. Sweet, fresh, portable, endlessly adaptable to pastries, tarts, cobblers, scones, and more. Fortunately/unfortunately for me, I have a toddler who agrees wholeheartedly, meaning that the raspberry competition in this household is on.
Out of curiosity, I did a little research into the health benefits of raspberries, in hopes of scrounging up some actual evidence for my intuition that they are nutritious and worthy of being a household staple. Turns out, they’re a great source of vitamin C and fiber, as well as antioxidants, and some preliminary research suggests that raspberry ketones (don’t ask me what exactly a ketone is…) could play a role in inhibiting the growth of certain cancers. All more reasons to love them.
Well, snacking on whole, fresh raspberries is basically an every day, often multiple times per day sport in my house, but sometimes I do manage to squirrel away a few extras for use in another cooking or baking project. Let me assure you, this sparkling raspberry lemonade is well worth whatever measures are required to set aside/hide the berries required. Think of it as sending them to an even higher calling.
I love sparkly drinks the summer – who doesn’t!? – but always balk at buying processed beverages laden with oodles of added sugar, preservatives, or who knows what else. Fortunately, with drinks as simple yet festive as this one, there’s no need for a grocery store shortcut.
Lemons, Sugar, Raspberries, Water
You’ll need a whole mess of lemons, and getting the juice out of them is the most time-consuming part of the whole affair. Mix the lemon juice with a little sugar over heat – you can always dial up or back on the sugar quantity to suit your taste, but I strongly suspect that regardless, it will still be less than you’ll find in most processed drinks. Chill the resulting syrup, mix it with a little raspberry puree and sparkling water, and you have just officially entered summer heaven!
With a two-year old running around, I think my best bet for relaxation this summer will be whipping up a pitcher of this and sitting on the back deck to sip (OK, slurp) while he runs himself ragged in the fresh air. I can live without the hammock and good uninterrupted reading time – for now, at least! Where would you sip this sweet little beverage? What’s your vision of total summer relaxation!?
Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
Yield 4-6 servings
Sparkling raspberry lemonade is the ideal refreshing and celebratory beverage to say, "hello, summer!" Made from scratch with just four simple ingredients.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 150 grams fresh raspberries (a generous handful)
- 2-3 cups sparkling water, chilled
In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and sugar over medium heat. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl, pitcher, or large liquid measuring cup, cover, and chill until ready to serve.
While the syrup is chilling, puree the raspberries in a food processor or food mill, or mash them gently with the back of a spoon. If desired, press the berry puree through a fine mesh strainer. (This is not necessary, but does remove the seeds, if you'd rather not have those in your drink.)
To serve, spoon a small amount of the berry puree into each serving glass. Add ice if desired. Pour 2 cups of the sparkling water into the chilled lemon syrup. Taste and add more sparkling water to taste. Pour the lemonade into the glasses and serve immediately.