I was something of a petite entrepreneur when I was a child. I’d setup elaborate bake sales and lemonade stands at the top of our driveway (which just so happened to be along a very popular bike route in our town). I’d prepare an assortment of baked goods, including cookies, brownies, fudge, etc. as well as a huge pitcher of lemonade, and wait for the thirsty customers to roll by.
I can only imagine how my profits would have soared if I had just looked beyond the tub of powdered lemonade.
No matter your age, homemade lemonade is a true joy. The subtle sweet-and-tart flavor of fresh lemons is something that can’t be reproduced in powdered form. And while, granted, nothing is as easy as dissolving a spoonful of powder in a pitcher of water, making lemonade from scratch is not much harder.
For an even more impressive spread, try these unique lemonade variations, combining fresh summer fruit and herb-infused sugar syrups. With distinctive combinations like peach and thyme, blackberry and mint, and even tomato and basil, summer just got a whole lot cooler. The tomato basil is particularly unique—the lemons and sugar turning a typically savory fruit into a sweet libation. Try it! It’s better than it sounds. But don’t stop there, try combining different fruits and herbs—I’m thinking lavender, lemon verbena, or rosemary could be incredible—the possibilities are endless!
Fruit and Herb Lemonade
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup lemon juice (from about 4 to 6 large lemons)
- 3 cups cold water
For Peach Thyme:
- 2 peaches, peeled* and pitted
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
For Tomato Basil:
- 1 large (8oz) tomato, peeled* and cored
- 2 tablespoons packed basil leaves
For Blackberry Mint:
- 1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)
- 2 tablespoons packed mint leaves
- Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add herbs; cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove herbs and transfer to a glass jar or heat-proof container and refrigerate until cool, at least 20 minutes or until ready to use.
- Blend fruit in a blender or food processor until smooth; strain through a fine mesh sieve or run through a food mill to remove any seeds and excess solids.
- Combine fruit purée with lemon juice in a large pitcher. Stir in 3 cups cold water and sugar syrup to taste. Pour over ice.
*To easily peel peaches and/or tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut an X-shaped slit in the bottom of fruit. Boil for 30 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice water. When fruit is cool enough to handle, the skins should slide right off.
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These look sooo refreshing! Can’t wait to try : )
Refreshing idea for wedding guests. Great match for a herb theme wedding. Thank you
You as a petit entrepreneur is an understatement. Gigi (Grams) still has your bag of marbles! Always knew you’d do some fab things, cousin! Can’t wait to see you next week :) xo
Congratulations on the feature, and what a beautiful summer recipe! Love the creative combinations!
Already an entrepreneur at such a young age – looks like your business mind started early! I’ve been craving fruity herby lemonades non-stop lately and will definitely be trying your versions! :)
This is very creative lemonade, Lindsay. I especially like the tomato basil.
I love *real* lemonade but to add fruit and herbs is very special indeed. I had a twinge of homesick when I saw the newspaper mention. I went to UTK and raised my kids in Knoxville before moving to Australia. I really miss Tennessee. :)
Congrats on the feature! And how adorable is that old photo?! You look the same :)
And I’m probably going to need a dozen of these lemonades today, mmk? Thanks :)
that blackberry mint sounds so good right now
I loved lemonade stands when I was a kid, and can still appreciate the perfect simplicity of lemonade in the summer. Your flavor twists are such fun! I would be all over that peach thyme.
My favorite would be the blackberry mint! It sounds like a great combination of flavors and very refreshing I bet!
These are all beautiful, but I REALLY want to try the tomato basil one. What a unique and fabulous idea!
Looks wonderful! I really love the childhood photo too :)
Love these varieties to regular lemonade!
ohhhh this looks and sounds heavenly! love the grown up flavors!
What fun summer drinks! :)
Finding wonderful non-savory dishes/drinks to use herbs is great! Thank you for the recipe. I will have to try all of them I guess since I have all of those herbs growing in my garden out back!
Peach thyme lemonade sounds heavenly!
That picture is so funny. Definitely a great find.
What happens to the refrigerated herbs? Do you blend them in as well, once they are cooled?
oops, i’m sorry. you refrigerated the herb water, not the herbs themselves…
Looks so refreshing!!
Blackberry mint sounds amazing!
Gourmet lemonade–how far the stands have evolved! My grands love lemonade and with all the fresh fruits and herbs available right now, these would be perfect for the warm weather. XOXO
they look refreshing!!!
I used to have lemonade stands too (koolaid) but I think we probably went into debt…at a nickle or a dime and 3 customers all afternoon, I dont think there was much profit. lol
Congrats on your Tenn feature!
That’s awesome about the Tennessean, Lindsay! Congrats!