Looking for the perfect cool and refreshing drink to go with your summer grill parties, mornings on the porch, or relaxing evenings? Are you tired of basic lemonades and want something new and fresh? Well, look no further: this sparkling cherry lemonade is here to fulfill all your needs and it’s so easy to make you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t thought of it yourself.
Before you start
The first part of the drink is the base. Of course, you’re going to need cherries, lemons, and some sugar. When in season, as they are in summer, you definitely want to use fresh cherries. But, they require pitting, which isn’t always fun, but it’s worth it. If you don’t have a fancy cherry pitter, you can use the old bottle trick: place a cherry on the opening of a glass bottle and push down on it with a straw. All the pits will fall into the bottle and you will be left with cherries ripe for blending (make sure you’re wearing an apron when pitting, because it can get very messy). Then, you want to squeeze the lemons. Go for organic if you can, but most importantly, go for the nice, ripe ones that will give you a lot of juice. A good tip is to put the lemons in the microwave for about 30 seconds and give them a good roll on the counter before squeezing to get the maximum juice out of each one. As for the sugar, you can use any kind you want. White sugar is, of course, staple, but you can also use natural honey, or stevia, if you are trying to keep sugar on the lower end.
How to serve
And before we prepare it, we have to figure out how we want to serve it. If you are entertaining a lot of guests, you can prepare this in large jugs, already pre-mixed with the sparkling water. Add some mint leaves, whole cherries and lemon slices to float on top, and let people pour it themselves. It is also a great drink for on-the-go, when having a picnic, or if you just want something delicious to drink during the day. Just place your reusable water bottle in the freezer with a little bit of water overnight to get a good, icy base. Pour your drink, and you are ready to go! If you are having a grown-ups only party, you can substitute the sparkling water for some sparkling wine and get an instant favorite with all of your guests. The cherry mixture itself is great to mix into many cocktails and mocktails, so you can have fun creating different things.
Once you have your cherries pitted and your lemon juice ready, you want to put it all, together with the sugar, into a blender. Make sure you blend it for long enough on a high setting, because you don’t want any large bits of cherries in your drink. Take care you leave a few of the prettiest cherries on the side for garnishing. If you want to make your drink extra smooth, you can strain it through a sieve, but keep in mind you’ll lose a lot of the flavor that way, since a lot of the cherries will be left behind. When you are ready to serve, spoon a couple of tablespoons of the mixture into a glass over the ice, and top it off with some sparkling water. Yes, it’s that easy.
You can use this same method to create sparkling lemonade with many other fruits. Berries work especially well, but you can also try peaches, mango, or some other tropical fruits to see what you will get. Make sure you make enough to serve everyone with more than one glass, because they will definitely be asking for seconds.