Are you ready to drink the rainbow? In this post, I’m going to walk you through 7 different flavors for making rainbow lemonade.
Growing up, I had a big lemon tree in the backyard that produced lemons like nothing I’d ever seen before or since. It would have tons of fruit about ready to ripen and it would be forming new flower buds already. It was basically making lemons non-stop. I guess it helped that we were in Arizona and had no winter to speak of.
But because of all those backyard lemons, I have long loved making lemonade. Case in point: my frozen mint lemonade recipe that came from the lemons and trying to escape the heat of summer.
And, somewhere down the line, I decided I needed to make rainbow lemonades. I thought it would make a pretty striking photo (which it did). But I did not anticipate the amount of work I would end up putting in to make this happen.
You could make a flight of colored rainbow lemonades by just adding some simple food coloring to plain lemonade. But that doesn’t seem as exciting to me as using specific flavors for each of the colors.
And so, the long process began. (Note that it will only be as long if you also plan on making all of the flavors, picking one or two will speed up the process significantly).
Prep Fruit for Rainbow Lemonade
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or, I guess in my case, when life gives you a Costco membership and you buy three large bags of lemons, make 7 batches of flavored rainbow lemonade. Plus an extra batch for helping me out behind the scenes.
One of the toughest parts of this recipe was juicing all of the lemons. I really should have thought and planned ahead. I used this metal hand juicer to squeeze every last drop from the lemons I had. By hand. It was quite the tiring process.
For doing just one or two of the flavors, hand juicing wouldn’t be terrible. But for more lemons, I would highly recommend a KitchenAid juicer attachment if you have a stand mixer, or this OXO reamer juicer for less hand stress than a squeezing juicer, or a Cuisinart electric citrus juicer.
Your hands will thank you.
With the lemons juiced, make sure to wash and cut any of the other fruit that you will be using to have them ready to go. I recommend juicing the lemons and slicing the fruit the same day you will be making the lemonade. Fresher is better.
Start with a Good Lemonade Base
We’re going to need a good base for our lemonade. A while ago I came across a lemonade recipe that I ended up loving. It is the recipe that I use to this day and my recipe here is based in part on that original perfect lemonade recipe from Simply Recipes.
The recipe involves making a simple syrup with water and sugar. I know it sounds like it may be scary and complicated, but it’s actually very simple (pun!).
The simple syrup is just combining the water and sugar together over low heat. It ensures that the sugar fully dissolves and makes for a smooth lemonade. And, in my opinion, makes for the perfect base for making rainbow lemonade. However, in the next section, I’ll cover getting the flavors into the simple syrup as it cooks.
Please do not use frozen lemonade concentrate or that strange pre-squeezed lemon juice. Those may work in some circumstances. But for our purposes in this recipe, it will simply not be the same.
How to Flavor the Rainbow Lemonade
Now that we have a good base for our lemonade, it’s time to add the flavor. For this recipe, we’ll add the flavor at the same time that we make the simple syrup.
For the fruits, we will blend up 1 cup of fruit, add it in with the water and sugar when heating, and then strain it out using a quality fine mesh strainer. I don’t think that using cheesecloth is necessary, but if you want your lemonade super-smooth then go ahead. With the blue raspberry one, just add the teaspoons of liquid to the simple syrup, no need to strain it. And with the lavender one, we are basically making a lavender tea in simple syrup. So, add the lavender flowers to the water and sugar and heat it up. Then, when the sugar is dissolved, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes to steep. Then strain out the flowers with a fine mesh strainer.
For the color and flavor combinations that make up my rainbow lemonade see the chart bullet points below:
- Red – Strawberry
- Orange – Mango
- Yellow – Pineapple
- Green – Kiwi
- Blue – Blue Raspberry
- Indigo – Blueberry
- Violet – Lavender
For the most part, you can choose whether you would or wouldn’t like to use food coloring in the lemonade. All of the flavors except the lavender will provide some color without adding food coloring.
But the colors will be a little less vibrant, more muted, and natural without added food coloring. Either way, they will end up tasting the same.
So let’s get to it and get to juicing those lemons.
How did yours turn out?
My personal favorite flavor was the red strawberry lemonade.
I’d love to hear when you try any of these rainbow lemonade flavors! Let me know which flavor you like most. Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.
Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.
Rainbow Lemonade FlavorsCourse: DrinksDifficulty: Easy
This is a simple recipe of 7 different flavors to make rainbow lemonade, which can have kids enjoying the sweet taste of their own creation! Choose the flavor you want the most, or go all-in for a lemonade menagerie that will make anyone’s lemonade stand jealous. Note that the lemonade base ingredients must be made for each flavor/color you make.
- Lemonade Base
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3-4 cups cold water
2 to 3 drops food coloring, as desired
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup cubed mango
1 cup cubed pineapple
1 cup sliced kiwi fruit
3 teaspoons liquid blue raspberry drink mix
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons dry lavender flowers
- Begin by squeezing the lemon juice and washing and chopping up the fruit for any of the flavors you plan to make
- Add the sugar and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan
- For any fruit-based colors/flavors, blend the fruit up until smooth and add it to the saucepan. For the blue raspberry one, simply add the amount of drink mix to the saucepan. For the lavender one, add the flowers to the saucepan.
- Put the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove it from the heat – for lavender lemonade, steep the flowers after removing it from the heat for 5 minutes before going to the next step
- Strain the mixture with a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher
- To the pitcher, add 1 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 2 to 3 drops of food coloring if desired, and 3 to 4 cups of cold water to taste
- Repeat steps 1-6 for all of the flavors you would like to make
- Pour, sip, and enjoy!
- Note that the prep times are for a single flavor, so making more will definitely take more time – juicing the lemons was rough by hand, and making the different simple syrups and washing everything in between to not cross flavors took a lot of time…
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