Sweet, tart classic lemonade with a vibrant and floral twist! Homemade hibiscus lemonade is refreshing with just the right amount of sweet with class lemony goodness and only requires 4 ingredients.
This drink is perfect for enjoying over ice, infused with tea, as a mocktail, or with your favorite spirit. If you love a glass of classic fresh lemonade, hibiscus lemonade needs to be in your next pitcher.
While lemonade usually has us thinking of hot summer days with ice-melting heat, I can't think of a time of year this wouldn't be enjoyable. It's super refreshing!
This non-alcoholic lemonade is actually inspired by a cocktail! Tropical hibiscus bourbon cocktails are one of the most popular cocktail recipes on the site and I just love using this brilliant-colored flower in recipes!
Hibiscus lemonade is an easy, non-alcoholic option that's perfect for entertaining and hosting company.
What does hibiscus lemonade taste like?
Hibiscus flavor will taste slightly sweet, a bit floral but with a perfect tartness that's similar to pomegranate and cranberry. Overall a very balanced flavor that's not too much of anything while still incredibly unique.
It's a very fun spin on the classic recipe!
Ingredients & Equipment
Four ingredients! That's all you need. I also have a few recommendations that will make things easier and faster but you can still make this recipe without them.
- Lemons - You can use classic lemons or Meyer lemons. You can also substitute fresh lemon juice, I usually get this in the natural food section or near the regular lemon juice in the juice aisle. Technically, you can use regular bottled lemon juice that you would use for cooking to make lemonade, but ideally, you'll want lemon juice with a little pulp.
- Sugar - personally, I like classic granulated sugar. Feel free to substitute cane sugar or turbinado sugar. Sugar alternatives with a 1-to-1 substitution will also work well. Maple syrup can also be used as a 1-to-1 substitution but will add that classic maple flavor to the beverage.
- Hibiscus powder - You can purchase this at a natural foods store, but I'd recommended checking first if that's your only reason for shopping there. Most of the time I order mine online. This hibiscus powder (affiliate link) from amazon is usually my standard order and lasts me a good while. I recommend using the hibiscus powder over hibiscus tea for a concentration of that tart flavor.
- Water - this one's pretty simple. You'll need water for the hibiscus syrup and also for the lemonade.
- Juicer - this hand juicer (affiliate link) is my favorite and a bartender staple. It can be a bit clunky and I did lose mine in the move, so making this recipe was a good reminder to grab a replacement. If you don't have one, squeeze lemons the traditional way!
- Fine Mesh Strainer - this is particularly helpful if hand squeezing the lemons to help catch the lemon seeds. I like this set of 3 mesh strainers (affiliate link). The smallest one is perfect for double straining cocktails and the largest is my favorite for straining sauces and stocks.
Making your Hibiscus Lemonade
Making this recipe is truly easy peasy lemon squeezy. (I'm sorry, I made it this far without one single lemon trope and you can let me have this one.)
Make the simple syrup with sugar, water, and hibiscus powder. Combine the ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
Bring the syrup to just a simmer, remove from heat and let cool.
Juice the lemons and remove any seeds.
Mix the hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, and cold water in a pitcher. Serve over ice.
Hint: Leaving the lemons out at room temperature will help make them easier to juice. If they are particularly tough to juice, try rolling around on the counter while pressing down on the lemon.
If you're loving the classic recipe but want to switch it up, try substituting some of the cold water in the recipe for other beverages.
Substitute sparkling water for cold water to make sparkling hibiscus lemonade.
Green or traditional iced tea will make this recipe closer to a Starbucks hibicus lemonade refresher! Substitute half the cold water for green tea.
Switch out the lemon juice for other fresh squeezed juices like tangerines, grapefruit, and orange.
Of course it makes a great mixer for cocktails as well! Vodka, gin, rum, or bourbon would be an excellent choice!
Making this recipe for company? Give it a visual pop!
- Fresh or dried edible flowers
- Lemon wheels or wedges
- Frozen berries
- Candied hibiscus flowers (I get these at Trader Joe's)
If you don't have a hand or citrus juicer of any kind, rotate a fork or spoon in half of the citrus while squeezing to remove as much juice from the pulp as possible.
Leaving the lemons out at room temperature will help make them easier to juice. If they are particularly tough to juice, try rolling around on the counter while pressing down on the lemon.
Chill before serving so you don't water down the flavor with ice!
What to serve with it
Loving your refreshing hibiscus lemonade?! Make my homemade blueberry lemonade next!
A pitcher of lemonade is so great to set on the table for company. So is this strawberry salsa! Another great snack idea that's a bit more substantial is this creamy brie and cranberry flatbread. The tart cranberry and zippy hibiscus will be great together.
I also have to tell you about these cheesy potato croquettes from my friend Aleka. She's a master in party planning snacks and these have my mouth drooling!
For more snack ideas, check out the appetizers section here on the blog!
If you loved this recipe, please let me know with a star rating and comment below! Don't forget to tag me in your social posts so I can see your beautiful creations!
- citrus hand juicer optional
- fine mesh strainer optional
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoon hibiscus powder
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 to 5 lemons)
- 6 to 7 cups cold water
- Make the hibiscus simple syrup. Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons hibiscus powder in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes while whisking. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Juice the lemons, remove any seeds. Combine the 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and 6 to 7 cups cold water in a pitcher. Stir in the hibiscus simple syrup until fully combined.
- Serve over ice. Optional: garnish with lemon wheels, dried edible flowers, or any citrus fruit wedges.
- If you don't have a hand or citrus juicer of any kind, rotate a fork or spoon in half of the citrus while squeezing to remove as much juice from the pulp as possible.
- Leaving the lemons out at room temperature will help make them easier to juice. If they are particularly tough to juice, try rolling around on the counter while pressing down on the lemon.
- Chill before serving so you don't water down the flavor with ice!
- See above in the blog post for different variations such as hibiscus green tea lemonade, sparkling hibiscus lemonade, and turning it into a cocktail!