Lemonade vs Pink Lemonade: What’s The Difference?

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Lemonade definitely does not get given the credit it deserves. When it gets compared to other types of soda, it is often the option that is at the bottom of many people’s lists.

However, it is such an underrated drink. There is nothing quite like an ice-cold glass of fresh lemonade on a warm summer’s day. 

Whether you have made the lemonade from scratch, or it has been purchased from the store – both are great options! For those with keen eyes, you may have realized that lemonade is available in a few different forms, cloudy, carbonated and pink.

When people first come across pink lemonade it can come as a bit of a surprise, especially as we are so used to lemonade either being clear or a slightly yellow clouded color. You may have wondered whether pink lemonade tastes the same?

In this article, we have delved into this question in more detail. We have focused on the history of lemonade, and the differences between lemonade and pink lemonade.

You may be shocked to learn that the only differences occur as a result of food dye and potentially different fruit juices and flavorings.

Who Invented Lemonade?

Before we delve into the differences between regular lemonade and pink lemonade, it is useful for you to know the origins of where lemonade originated – it is rather interesting! 

Lemonade is said to date all the way back to 13th Century Egypt! However, this drink was not called lemonade then, it was called qatarmizat. The Egyptians would often drink qatarmizat, which was made from sugar and lemon juice. 

Lemonade was not actually given this name until the 17th Century. In Paris, a company named Compagnie de Limonadiers began selling this drink, which was made using still water.

In the 1940s White’s Lemonade which is still sold today, was being sold on stalls in Britain and quickly gained in popularity. 

Lemonade does not really have a specific creator as White’s Lemonade adapted the popular drink to create their own take on it. Rather lemonade is something that has been drunk for thousands of years and has adapted over time, which may come as a surprise to you! 

What Is Lemonade?

As we have discussed, there are many types of lemonade available, but the three most common are traditional, carbonated, and pink lemonade. In this section we will be discussing what lemonade actually is. 

Lemonade is a sweet and tangy drink that is made using water, lemons (or lemon juice), and sugar. It is a popular drink to make at home. In America, we are most familiar with homemade lemonade.

While other countries across the world will also drink homemade lemonade, in the UK for example, they opt to drink lemonade as a carbonated beverage.

If you are making lemonade at home you can choose to make it as sweet or as tangy as you like, and it is the perfect refreshing drink for a summer’s day. When lemonade is made at home, it is typically quite cloudy. Lemonade that is bought in cans is usually carbonated and clear.

The cloudiness and the color of lemonade is not overly important, and does not really determine how the lemonade tastes. Depending on the brand you choose the color and cloudiness of the lemonade will vary. 

For example, some are naturally only slightly clouded, while others contain a small amount of yellow dye to give it that quintessential lemonade color. The more natural or fresh the lemonade is, the lighter the color will typically be because there are no artificial colors or flavorings.

As lemonade is made with lemons, it can have quite a tangy taste. When you compare it to other drinks such as cola, it does not taste as sweet typically. However, even though it may have a tangy taste, even “healthier” lemonade has quite a lot of sugar.

The sugar content may be quite surprising to you as it can often not taste too sweet. On average, there can be anywhere up to 25 grams of sugar for every 8 fl oz! 

While lemonade can be made at home, it can also be purchased at the store too. While you can purchase premade lemonade, there is also the option of purchasing powdered lemonade. 

With powdered lemonade, this is mixed with water at home and can be a tasty alternative. Though, if you are looking for a healthier option, this may not be the best for you as it will likely contain preservatives in order to keep the powder from going bad over time. 

On the whole, lemonade is not the healthiest of drinks given its sugar content. However, it is also not the worst drink to consume, and lemon juice does have some health benefits. 

What Is Pink Lemonade?

Now that you have a better understanding of how lemonade is made and its ingredients, you may be wondering how it differs from pink lemonade. In general, there is very little difference between lemonade and pink lemonade, which you may find surprising.

Sometimes the only difference in lemonade and pink lemonade is the color. Pink lemonade gets its well known color either from a small amount of red dye, or from grenadine. When a small amount is added it creates the light pink color. 

However, in the majority of instances, pink lemonade is only slightly different to lemonade as it will contain additional ingredients and flavors.

Pink lemonade is typically created using red berries too. There is not one specific fruit that is included, and it can vary significantly depending on personal preferences and who is creating it. 

Some of the most common types of fruit that are added to pink lemonade include grapefruit, cranberry, cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Sometimes only one of these fruits is added, and other times more than one of them is added. 

While the lemonade with the additional fruit added will still taste like lemonade it gives the well-known drink an interesting twist. If you are not overly fond of traditional lemonade, you may find that pink lemonade is the more appealing option. 

Although, if you prefer the traditional taste, you may prefer to drink pink lemonade without the added fruit instead. The added fruit does change the taste of lemonade slightly, and it will tend to be less tangy and sweeter overall. 

The Origins Of Pink Lemonade

The origins of pink lemonade is an interesting one. The first time the pink lemonade was recorded was back in 1879, and it involves a traveling circus! It is said that some actors drank pink lemonade so that their drinks were as interesting as their acts. 

However, a man called Henry E. Allot in the early 1900s is said to have created pink lemonade, though what was added to his drink was not fruit… it was cinnamon! It is said that he added cinnamon candy to a big batch of lemonade by accident and then this was sold to those attending the circus. 

It is worth noting that it is not clear how true this origin story is, but it is certainly an interesting one. Furthermore, it may actually be the case the pink lemonade was created much later on when people began to experiment with adding different types of fruit and dyes to drinks. 

Whichever story is the accurate one, we know that it led to the creation of a drink that is ever popular and tasty.

What Are The Differences Between Both Types Of Lemonade?

When looking at the differences between lemonade and pink lemonade, it is mainly down to the ingredients. However, in some cases the only difference is the color of the lemonade.

If the lemonade you are consuming just contains red dye or grenadine it will taste like regular lemonade but will have a fun color twist. However, if the lemonade contains other fruit or fruit juices, it will taste different to traditional lemonade. It will taste less tangy, and sweeter. It will have hints of the other fruit that is included. 

While it may not be to everyone’s tastes, it does provide a great take on this transitional drink. Both lemonade and pink lemonade will come in varying strengths and sweetness, especially if it is homemade.  

Are pink lemonade and strawberry lemonade the same?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. While pink lemonade can be made using strawberries, it is not always made using strawberries, other fruit can be used instead of strawberries, such as raspberries or pink grapefruit, for an example.

While strawberry lemonade is pink and is made using strawberries, pink lemonade is the name given to all kinds of lemonade that is pink, whether it contains strawberries or not. 

What’s the pink in pink lemonade?

In the vast majority of cases, the pink color of the lemonade comes from a small amount of red dye that is suitable to be added into the lemonade, or grenadine

If you are unfamiliar with grenadine, it is a cordial that originated from France. It is very sweet, and has the consistency of syrup. It is often used in carbonated beverages, or to sweeten a cocktail. Grenadine is made using pomegranate juice that has been reduced. This is what gives it its sweet and unique taste. 

While these two ingredients are what typically causes pink lemonade to be pink, we should also take into consideration the fruit that has been added to the lemonade too. Typically, the fruits added are red and produce either red or pink fruit juices. 

When these fruits are added or added as purée, these will add to the other color of the pink lemonade, especially if you are making homemade lemonade in small batches.

If you are using this method as a more natural way of achieving the pink color, the lemonade may be a weaker color of pink in comparison to using dye. 

Do pink lemons make pink lemonade?

While we associate lemons with being yellow, did you know that pink lemons exist too? Pink lemons are a green and yellow color on the outside, but inside the skin is pink and resembles a grapefruit more than a typical lemon!

While you may put two and two together and assume that pink lemons will create a pink juice, unfortunately they do not. The juice that is created is the same clear and cloudy color that lemons produce.

These lemons are known as Eureka lemons, and they can be found in Southern California. While they are not as popular as regular lemons, they can be purchased in some grocery stores, if you are looking for a fun twist on this classic fruit! 


We hope that this article has been interesting and helpful to you. As the saying goes “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” – or pink lemonade if you prefer! While traditional lemonade and pink lemonade are slightly different in their ingredients, they are both just as tasty. 

If you are looking for a sweeter option that contains other types of fruit too, pink lemonade is a great option to try, though you cannot go wrong with homemade lemonade. 

They are both fantastic drinks to consume on a warm day or to serve as a BBQ. Why not serve your own take of pink lemonade at your next BBQ to see what your guests think of your creation on a classic twist? 

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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