Late summer and early fall blackberries taste amazing in our recipe for blackberry lemonade! This recipe uses fresh, in-season blackberries and fresh lemons to create a delicious and beautiful drink that’s a crowd pleaser.
Late summer and early fall is the perfect time for in-season and perfectly ripe and juicy blackberries, and what better way to enjoy fresh blackberries than with our blackberry lemonade!
This amazing lemonade is a blackberry version of our raspberry lemonade, which is also worth a try! All of our lemonade recipes use simple ingredients and fresh lemons. And although it has an extra step, it still comes together in under 25 minutes and tastes incredible.
Why we love this blackberry lemonade recipe
This lemonade is perfectly sweet and tart, but without being overly acidic or bitter. We include natural lemon oils in this lemonade to make it extra delicious (we use this process with most of our lemonades!).
The color is beautiful as well and perfect for serving at BBQs, cookouts, or parties.
If you want a boozy version of this recipe, mix in a shot of vodka or (my personal favorite) a high quality tequila to make a kind of lemon margarita (something we love doing with our soursop lemonade).
How to make blackberry lemonade
Our recipe for lemonade has just a couple more steps, but it’s worth the small additional effort!
Here are the steps to make this recipe. These are just an overview of the steps, the full recipe is at the end of the post.
- Wash your lemons (you’ll need about 5-7 medium lemons), and slice 1/2 of 1 lemon into slices and set aside.
- Juice the lemons and strain the lemon juice until you have 1¼ cup lemon juice.
- Add the lemon juice to a 2-quart saucepan along with the sugar, 1 cup of water, and the lemon slices.
- Heat until simmering, lower the heat slightly and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes. The lemon slices will become translucent.
- While the lemonade syrup/concentrate is cooking, wash your blackberries and add them to a small blender or Nutribullet with 1 cup of water.
- Process until the fruit it broken down and pour through a strainer to remove the seeds. Set aside.
- Once the lemon juice has finished cooking, remove the lemon slices and stir in the strained blackberry juice.
- Fill a 2-quart pitcher with 4 cups/1 quart of ice cubes.
- Pour the lemon blackberry juice over the ice and fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water to fill up 2 quarts.
- Store in the fridge.
I use unbleached Zulka morena sugar in most of my recipes since it’s a natural and unbleached cane sugar, but you can use regular white sugar that you have on hand for this recipe as well.
We find that the balance of sweet and tart in this recipe is perfect for us, but if you discover after taste-testing your lemonade that you want more sweetness, you can add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup or simple syrup to your lemonade to adjust the sweetness (you won’t taste the maple at all if using maple syrup).
Why cook the lemon slices with the lemon juice?
One reason this blackberry lemonade is so great is that the lemon juice cooked with the sugar and lemon slices produces a mellower and more complex lemon flavor than just uncooked lemon juice.
What truly enhances the flavor of this lemonade is the process of simmering sliced lemons together with the lemon juice and sugar. You’re essentially making a light lemon syrup or lemonade concentrate that includes the natural lemon oils from the peels.
While you might assume that including lemon rind in the simmering process could make the lemonade bitter, it surprisingly has the opposite effect. The lemon oils in the lemon peel and rind create a smoother and less acidic lemonade. You can read about where I got this idea in my guava lemonade recipe.
You get the sweet and tartness in a smoother taste and more complex lemon flavor from the peel. This is an extra step, but it results in pretty amazing lemonade. Skipping this step would mean missing out on the best flavor!
I’d like to point out that I don’t think using lemon essential oil in your lemonade will yield the same results as simmering fresh lemon slices. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be consumed, so I don’t suggest skipping the cooking step and substituting it with lemon essential oil in your lemonade.
Check out more of our allergy friendly lemon recipes!
Homemade Blackberry Lemonade
- 1¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 5-7 medium lemons)
- 1¼ cup unbleached cane sugar* (regular white sugar is fine, too)
- ½ large lemon, sliced
- 2 cups water, divided
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 4 cups ice
- Additional cold water
- Juice your lemons and strain out the seeds to make 1¼ cups fresh lemon juice.
- Add the fresh lemon juice, the sugar, 1 cup water, and the lemon slices to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the lemon slices start to turn translucent (about 12-15 minutes).
- Don't skip the lemon slices in the lemon/sugar mixture! The lemon rinds will add natural lemon oil which adds a wonderful mellow flavor in this lemonade.
- While the lemon juice and sugar is cooking, put the blackberries in a blender with 1 cup of cold water and pulse a couple of times until the fruit is broken down.
- Pour the blackberry water mixture through a metal strainer to separate the juice from the skins and the seeds. Discard the seeds and set aside the liquid (it will be cloudy).
- Once the lemon juice and sugar has finished cooking, turn off the heat and stir in the blackberry juice.
- Add 4 cups (1 quart) of ice to a 2 quart pitcher. Pour the lemon/blackberry juice over the ice and add enough cold water to top this off to 2 quarts.
- Serve cold with lemon slices to garnish your glass. Enjoy!
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist