The Best Strawberry Lemonade

Just the right balance of sweet and tart, this refreshing thirst-quencher is perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

  • Serves

    6 cups

  • Cook

    40 minutes


By Taffy Elrod

Published on June 14, 2024

Red-colored foods are commonly served on Juneteenth. “While people have different thoughts about how this tradition started, some people say red foods represent our ancestors’ bloodshed during the slave trade and in the fight for freedom,” writes Alliah L. Agostini in The Juneteenth Cookbook. Others connect it to the red in the Pan-African flag or to the kola nut, which turns red when boiled and is used in some West African ceremonial traditions. This simple strawberry lemonade is chef and co-author Taffy Elrod’s take on pink lemonade, tinted appropriately for the official color of Juneteenth. 

Adapted from The Juneteenth Cookbook by Alliah L. Agostini, Taffy Elrod, and Sawyer Cloud. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, becker&mayer kids!, an imprint of The Quarto Group, New York, NY.


For the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar

For the lemonade:

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4–5 large lemons)
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish


Step 1

Make the simple syrup: In a small pot over medium heat, bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has fully dissolved, 2–4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Use the syrup immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Step 2

Make the lemonade: Set aside a few strawberries for garnish, then hull the rest. Transfer the hulled strawberries to a blender and process until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher or 2-quart measuring cup, using a silicone spatula to push the purée through the strainer. 

Step 3

Add the lemon juice and 2 cups of water to the strawberry purée in the pitcher. Stir in 1 cup of the simple syrup and taste. If necessary, add up to another 1 cup of water.

Step 4

Serve over ice. Garnish with the lemon slices and reserved whole strawberries.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.