Home » Food Information » Pink Lemonade Vs Lemonade: Comparison and facts

Pink Lemonade Vs Lemonade: Comparison and facts

Both pink lemonade and regular lemonade are refreshing drinks. For this reason, many can’t help but compare them. But is there a winner in the pink lemonade vs lemonade battle? Or should we not compare them at all? We’re going to find that out.

Cover for the blog showing jar with pink lemonade and glass with regular lemonade

What Is Lemonade?

Lemonade is a classic drink that people have enjoyed since the 12th century. A favorite summertime refreshment, lemonade has a few basic ingredients.

The most common homemade lemonade recipes include lemon juice, sugar, and water. That said, it tastes sour and sweet.

As you can make it easily at home, the recipe is really flexible. You can add as much still water, sugar, and lemon juice to make a lemonade that suits your taste.

In fact, people have made different kinds of lemonade. Some combine lemon juice with other fruit juices. Others use carbonated water instead of still water to make a sparkling version of the drink.

Due to its popularity, commercial versions of lemonade are also abundant. You can even find lemonade powder available for purchase in grocery stores. All you need to do is dissolve it in water and add ice. Then, you’ll have a quick lemonade.

Retailers also sell a liquid pre-made version of lemonade. You’ll often find this ready-to-drink type in refrigerators. This way, you can grab one and enjoy lemonade on the go.

Short glass filled with lemonade, sliced lemons next to it.

What Is Pink Lemonade?

One of the many kinds of lemonade is pink lemonade. What is it, really? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like. Pink lemonade is your regular lemonade, only with a rosy color. You add a red element to your traditional lemonade to make your own pink lemonade. This element can vary, depending on who’s making it.

Common additives in pink lemonade are fruit juices such as watermelon, grapefruit, and strawberry juice.

Raspberry or cranberry juice will also work. Some people also opt for grenadine syrup or red food dye for a perfect pink hue. There are also versions that call for beet juice.

A common misconception is that pink lemonade is made using the juice of pink lemons. Wait, what? Are there actually pink lemons? Yes, pink lemons exist. The most common pink lemons have yellow and green skin, reminiscent of watermelons. But some have lovely pink skins, which look like pink versions of the fruit.

But that is not the reason that drink got its name. Instead, people call the variegated Eureka lemon “pink lemonade lemon” due to its flesh. When you cut them open, no matter their skin color, they have lovely pink insides!

However, despite its pink flesh, its juice is clear and not pink. So, life did not give pink lemonade’s inventor pink lemons. Instead, what life gave them was something unexpected. We’ll discuss more of that below.

Mason jar filled with pink lemonade and ice and decorated with lemon.

Differences Between Pink Lemonade Vs Lemonade

So now, the real battle between pink lemonade vs. fresh lemonade! Let’s compare them and see if there is a clear winner.


Egyptians first documented a drink similar to lemonade in 1050 CE. They called the drink qatarzimat, a concoction of lemon juice and sugar. Historians believe that the drink existed before people even documented it, though.

That said, lemonade may have originated in areas where lemons are native. This can be anywhere in Myanmar, India, or China. Indeed, life gave them lemons, so they made lemonade!

Pink lemonade, on the other hand, has its origins tied to the circus. People associate two popular anecdotes with the invention of the pink drink.

The first story credits Henry Allot for the discovery. He sells lemonade while traveling with the circus. One day, he dropped cinnamon candies into his lemonade and dyed the entire batch pink. He still sold the drink, which became the first pink lemonade.

The second anecdote tells about another lemonade seller at the circus, Pete Conklin. Apparently, his initial batch of lemonade got sold out fast. In an attempt to make another batch quickly, he grabbed the nearest tub of water he could find. He was so in haste that he grabbed pink water that a performer used to rinse her red tights!

Not wanting to waste his full vat, he sold the rosy lemonade as “strawberry lemonade.” Legend says that his sales doubled after this.

So, life handed them cinnamon candies or laundry water instead of pink lemons. And now we know! What’s clear, though, is that pink lemonade comes from regular lemonade. Plus, if the ingenuity of origin is the basis, pink lemonade is the winner.


These two beverages are also different regarding their ingredients. The most basic lemonade recipe is only made up of water, lemon juice, and water.

Meanwhile, all pink lemonades start as regular lemonade. That said, it also has the three basic ingredients mentioned above. However, it also includes coloring of some sort to make it pink. This can either be a natural food color from fruit juices or an artificial dye.

For purists, lemonade is the clear winner regarding ingredients. After all, lemonade does not need any other thing, let alone an artificial dye, to be better.


The flavors of these two beverages may or may not differ. Plain lemonade is mostly sour, especially if you don’t put in lots of sugar. Some people skip the sugar, so their lemonade is just sour. Now, if you make your pink lemonade with artificial red dye, it will taste just like regular lemonade.

However, pink lemonade tastes sweeter if you use the pink juice of other fruits. And, of course, it will have hints of the flavor of the fruit you used, so it is fruitier, too.


The most obvious difference between pink lemonade and lemonade is its color. Lemonade can be clear, cloudy, white, or yellow. Sometimes, manufacturers add a yellow dye to give it a more vibrant hue.

Pink lemonade is always pink and never clear or yellow. After all, you cannot call it such if it doesn’t have a pink color.

Infographic showing different facts between lemonade vs pink lemonade

Ways to Use Lemonade In The Kitchen

Lemonade can be more than just a drink. It can be a worthy ingredient for your next baking adventure or an addition to your marinade.

Here’s how you can use lemonade in your recipes:

Use It To Make A Glaze

Combine powdered sugar and thawed frozen lemonade concentrate for a quick glaze! Use it to coat cakes, scones, and cookies. This glaze will add a citrus element to your desserts and make them more special!

Make Your Next Granitas Extra Special

A semi-frozen dessert, granita is a delectable summer treat. You can make it with almost any flavoring, so why not use lemonade? Combine your classic lemonade with some pineapple juice and minced mint.

Pour into a baking dish and freeze. Scrape with a fork every 30 minutes until the ice crystals form. To serve, scoop in bowls. Garnish with a lemon slice and a few whole mint leaves.

Whip Up A Lemonade Pie

Want a quick way to use that extra batch of frozen lemonade? How about a no-bake pie? Make the crust using crushed Graham crackers and melted butter.

Whip thawed frozen lemonade, condensed milk, and Cool Whip for the filling. Spread atop the crust and refrigerate overnight.

Grill Some Lemonade Chicken

If you think you can only use lemonade in desserts, wait until you try this chicken recipe. It uses a lemonade-flavored marinade, and the results are uniquely mouth-watering.

Make a marinade out of thawed frozen lemonade concentrate and soy sauce—season with garlic powder and salt. Marinate the chicken, grill, and voila – yellow lemonade chicken!

Make Some Cookies

Add a tart twist to your usual cookies with the help of some lemonade. Put some into your batter and bake to perfection. You can even make iced versions of the cookie.

Use any remaining lemonade concentrate and confectioner’s sugar as icing. Adding grated lemon zest works wonderfully, too. Check out this recipe for exact measurements.

Table top with ingredients to make homemade lemonade.

Tips To Make Lemonade Unique

There are a few ways to add a touch of novelty to your lemonade recipes. Give each of the options a try, and be pleasantly surprised! The good thing is that these work for both plain lemonade and pink lemonade.

Here are a few tips to make your lemonade a little extra:

1. Roast Lemons

Roasting your lemons before juicing them can give them a nice smoky flavor. This distinct flavor will translate to your lemonade and make it extra flavorful.

To do this, pop halved lemons in the oven and roast until the edges are brown. Juice them as usual and have an unusual but pleasant lemonade experience.

2. Add Alcohol

Putting in some alcoholic drink is perfect if you’re serving lemonade at an adult party. Vodka and rum are top choices for this. Pink Moscato wine will also work. Do this, and your spiked lemonade will surely be the night’s highlight!

3. Add Some Condensed Milk

Citrus and milk? Why…or why not? For a next-level lemonade experience, add condensed milk to the mix. You’ll get a creamy lemonade that even kids who don’t like sour drinks will find delightful.

Its creamy color is also a plus, especially that baby pink hue that you’ll get when you do this with pink lemonade.

4. Add Salt

If you find plain lemonade tart and bitter, adding a pinch of salt is a quick fix. Salt mellows out any bitterness and enriches the sweet flavors of your lemonade.

As a result, you’ll have subtle yet welcome hints of saltiness that will make your drink more flavorful.

5. Throw In Some Lavender

For a fragrant and floral touch, include lavender and honey in your syrup mixture before it boils.

Combine this syrup, lemon juice, and water in a pitcher. Add purple food coloring if you like, and you’ll have a delicious, aromatic, and pretty beverage.

6. Add Some Mustard

Even when it sounds a little weird, mixing in some Dijon mustard with your lemonade tastes great! The mustard lends an unexpected kick that will pleasantly affect your taste buds. Or add a small amount of ginger if you are serving it to the crowd.

7. Try it Spiced

I know we’re getting weirder, but trust us on this one. Put sliced jalapeno peppers into your simple syrup and enjoy a spicy finish in your lemonade! This recipe is the epitome of the popular phrase, sugar, spice, and everything nice!

8. Make It With Carrots

Grate some carrots and steep them in a mixture of lemon juice and sugar. Run through a strainer to remove carrot shreds, add water and ice and enjoy a refreshing summer drink.

Try it with sparkling water and a dash of orange juice for an extra flavor burst and fizz. The best thing about this is that you can use the carrot shavings for a carrot cake recipe!

9. Create a herbed Version

Boil herbs in water and use that water for your lemonade. The herbs will offer an aromatic twist to your plain drink. Aside from this, they’ll provide nutritional benefits. Rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, and tarragon work best.

10. Use A Stand Mixer To Juice Your Lemons

To get the most out of your lemons, use a stand mixer to juice them.

  1. Slice your lemons in quarters.
  2. Put them in your mixer’s bowl and use the paddle attachment to process the lemons.

This way, not only will you get the most juice, but you’ll also get some of the oil in their peels. The result? More juice and zesty flavors!

Does Pink Lemonade Taste The Same As Regular Lemonade?

It depends. Your pink lemonade will taste the same if you use artificial food coloring to give it a pink hue. If you use the juice of other fruits, it will taste different from regular lemonade. In that case, they’ll make your pink lemonade taste sweeter and more complex.

Is Pink Lemonade Strawberry Lemonade?

Not always. Strawberry lemonades can be pink, but not all pink lemonades use strawberries. A strawberry lemonade is just one of the many kinds of pink lemonade.

What Flavor Is Pink Lemonade?

The flavor of pink lemonade depends on the ingredients you use to make it. It will have a sour taste due to the lemons. However any additional fruit juice will affect its flavor.
That said, pink lemonade’s flavor is difficult to pinpoint as it is not a single flavor but an assortment.


The good thing is that today, over a century after its discovery, pink lemonades are better. They’re made from more appealing and nutritious ingredients. Its base, the good ol’ lemonade, is just as great. It is a drink most people associate with the summer.

So, which drink won the battle for you between pink lemonade vs. lemonade? At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference or even your favorite color!

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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