Cherry Lemonade Recipe

cherry lemonade recipe

I’ve always loved the concept of pink lemonade, though I don’t love the concept of artificially colored food and drink (except when it comes to Skittles and Starburst and Jelly Belly — then I am powerless over their bright and joyful colors!). And like any other red-blooded American I also love Sonic cherry limeade.

But got-damn limes are expensive these days! So instead I’ve started making this cherry lemonade recipe. Since I drink like a quart of it a day (being pregnant and thirsty and unable to imbibe in a cold Coors any old time I please, either before or after noon) I’ve started making it with Xylitol.

Xylitol is one of those new sugar alcohol sweeteners available that have, like, a zero on the glycemic index but unlike other sweeteners, xylitol also actually prevents cavities. So basically you’ll be enjoying a refreshing drink while doing your chompers a solid if you make this lemonade with xylitol. But you can also totally use sugar. Or honey.

Try adding ginger to it, too, for a fancier ginger cherry lemonade!


Cherry Lemonade Recipe

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 1 cup fresh cherries (about 14 cherries)
  • Optional: a few thin slices of fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup very hot water
  • 6 tablespoons Xylitol or sugar or honey
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups ice


  1. Rinse and stem cherries. Place 3-4 at a time on a cutting board and press on them with the flat side of a chef knife until crushed. Remove pits and coarsely chop cherries. Use a plastic cutting board unless you don’t mind pink stains on your wooden cutting board. And beware of cherry stains on your clothes.
  2. In a heat-proof pitcher, put hot water, cherries (ginger) and whatever sweetener you’re using. Stir until sweetener is dissolved.
  3. Add lemon juice, cold water and ice and stir until cold.
  4. Makes about 6 cups of cherry lemonade (6-8 servings)


For Ginger Cherry Lemonade:

Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger to ingredients list.
Steep ginger in hot water for 5 minutes. Strain into pitcher, discard ginger. Continue with recipe.

Xylitol can be found near the sugar in most groceries. The brand I found is called Ideal.


  • Calories: 10

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cherry lemonade


  1. James on July 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Never heard of xylitol before. I’ll have to look out for it. My vegan girlfriend won’t eat sugar, honey or even agave nectar. She puts sweet & low in the coffee I roast myself. That’s just gross.

    • Hilah on July 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

      Oh dear! That does seem a shame, James. 😉
      You should be able to find Xylitol in any decent grocery. It’s sold loose and in little packets. Will she use stevia? To me, stevia has a weird aftertaste, but it is plant-derived and a lot of people like it.

      • Donald Smith on July 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm

        just stopping by to say i went on youtube about an hr ago looking for a recipe o how to make corn dogs because i was really craving them i came across a bunch of videos but then i clicked on yours after a bunch of trial and error with the other videos( mainly because they were boring or because they looked weird (the people not the food lol) but i watched your videos and now i am instantly hooked to your channel because you make cooking fun and your funny i get your sense of humor and i look forward to seeing more of your videos and this is coming from a short 26 year old jamacian from the bronx keep up the good work

        • Hilah on July 29, 2014 at 7:28 pm

          Hi Donald! Thanks for stopping in! So glad you picked my corn dog video out of all the rest. 😉

  2. The Other Randy on July 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Fortunately, the price of limes is dropping! I thought I’d have to pay more for the limes than the cachaca to make caipirinhas during the World Cup, but I found that either Central Market or Whole Foods was selling them 3 for a dollar. As a result, I have both lemons and limes. If I wanted to make limeade as well as lemonade should I use the same amount of lime juice as the recipe calls for lemon juice? What type of cherries did you use? And I notice there’s ginger in the picture (I’ve got ton of that and I’m burnt out on making ginger beer!)

    • Hilah on July 21, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Yes, I’ve noticed that! They are now about the same price as lemons, which isn’t too bad.
      I used Bing cherries and I made a couple batches with ginger infused into the simple syrup. I think I added how to do that in a note at the bottom of the recipe?
      To make limeade, I think I’d increase the amount of juice by a tablespoon or two. To me, limes are sweeter than lemons so the juice:sugar ratio can be a little more equal.

  3. Ciara Sayler on August 1, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Hi Hilah! I recently started college so cooking for myself is something I’m getting used to. I’ve always loved to cook though, so that’s why i LOVE your show. And, I’m currently on a diet and bought some of the sweetener you mentioned and omg, amazing! Love this recipe and love you! All the way from Kansas! 🙂

    • Hilah on August 2, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Hi Ciara!
      Thank you so much for writing! It’s great to hear from you. I love that you are cooking for yourself instead of eating frozen pizza all the time like many college freshmen. 😉 And happy to recommend Xylitol! Glad you like it.

  4. Fredy on March 15, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Hilah i love everything you do and the way you do it

  5. Martin harvey on January 29, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Love your stuff
    Why is it that the limes at Costco have less juice than a rock?

    • Hilah on January 29, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Ha! Try sticking them in the microwave for 10 seconds before juicing them. 🙂

  6. Hugo Tolentino on April 4, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Does this recipe Contain any sugar

  7. Michael Newport on September 30, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    When you say 12 do you mean cups

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