Secret Garden Recipe: Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

Dear Summer,

I know I haven’t always treated you the way you deserve to be treated. There were plenty of days this summer when I slept through the best part of the morning. I only went out for ice cream one time, and that was after nightfall. I didn’t get to the beach or the pool even once. I never accomplished the picnic I’d planned in the mountains.

Listen, Summer, I know that being a teacher makes this even harder to excuse. I, better than anyone else (besides my students, maybe), should know the value of a great summer. I should have played in sprinklers. I should have driven around town with a slushy in one hand (and hopefully the steering wheel in the other). I should have gone on at least a couple of spontaneous road trips. Trust me, I know.

Give me some credit, though, Summer. I did almost exclusively wear a rotation of 3 sundresses all summer long. I stopped wearing clothes with finicky washing/drying directions to facilitate my summer laziness. I stocked up on dollar store flip flops and barely wore a legitimate shoe the entire season — except for that one time I wore my sassy heels. I started watching some of the horrible reality television that I’m embarrassed to talk about. I met my friend Beth for Indian, and just the other day, met my friend Andrea for sushi.

I filled up my hummingbird feeder! Not with raspberry lemonade, true, but I think the hummingbirds were plenty happy with sugar-water.

Changing up garnishes!

And I didn’t just flit around, either — I also used you, precious Summer, to be productive in ways I love. I planned a Secret Garden surprise party for my sister, for which I made this gorgeous lemonade. I blogged and blogged and blogged. I wrote the syllabus for the new cooking classes I’m teaching this fall. I diligently kept up with Top Chef.

Wait, watching Top Chef counts as productive, right?

Aw, a few raspberries in the pitcher look so nice. Maybe I should have added a lemon slice or two, too?

Summer, even though I’ve made some mistakes, it’s obvious that I care about you. I’m begging you, pleading with you — stay just a little longer. I’ll make amends; I’ll make sparkling raspberry lemonade. I’ll sit on the balcony with little Byrd, sippin’ this tart, fruity, sweet summertime beverage, just like I’m supposed to. Pretty please?


Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

Recipe by: Adapted from Sunset
Yields: about 5 1/2 cups of lemonade

1 1/2 cup raspberries, washed and patted dry
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cup sparkling water
2 1/2 cups water*

Mash raspberries with sugar in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Press this mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher and discard the seeds. Add lemon juice, sparkling water, and water, stirring to combine. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Dip each serving glass’s rim into lemon juice and then into sugar. Serve lemonade in these glasses with ice, and garnish with raspberries, mint, pretty straws, lemon slices, etc. as desired.

*NOTE: I am so lame. I fiddled with the original amount of liquid in the recipe and of course didn’t write down the changes I made. This is my best guess as to how much water and sparkling water I added, based on memory, but you can always fiddle with the ratio of ingredients after tasting.

And, because I would be frustrated if someone mentioned their sassy heels on a blog without showing me a picture:

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41 responses to “Secret Garden Recipe: Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

  1. Mmmm! That sounded so good when you posted it to Food Porn. Thanks for the recipe!

    I make a basil lemonade. Mince and crush some basil into the sugar, squeeze in the juice of 3 lemons, and make 4 cups of heaven. I’ve also cheated from time to time and made it with mint.

    • Julie

      Oh, this is actually different! The lemonade I posted previously was Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade. Both are tasty, though 🙂

      Basil lemonade sounds so intriguing! Yum!

    • Julie

      Oh, I just saw that it WAS just posted on FP, so maybe you meant that you’d seen it just now! They’re quick today 😉

  2. Those are seriously sassy shoes! And your lemonade loos so refreshing and summery! I just can’t believe that summer is almost over. Thank you for reminding me that I need to plan a spontanious road trip! haha…

  3. I didn’t know you were teaching cooking classes! You truly are professional! What classes are they?

    This drink looks like quintessential summer to me. I wish I could have a glass right now!

    • Julie

      Aw, thanks Julie! They’re actually just at the same school where I teach middle school language arts — they’re middle and upper school cooking electives. The first is “Desserts at Home,” and the second is “Cooking at Home.” The emphasis is on home cooking rather than professional technique — basically, equipping students to cook for their families now and in the future 🙂

  4. Thanks for such a great post. Even though I went to the beach, I’m still lamenting all the other things I should have done with summer. The school year is looming, and I’m frantically trying to use every second of quality sunshine left.

  5. So cute quirky writing. Love it! I think we all have our summer ‘to do’ list that rarely gets much checked off. There is always fall and winter right? And isn’t raspberry lemonade so delicious?! Yum yum.

  6. Looks delicious and refreshing. Surely this can go to school in a thermos?

  7. Adorable shoes! The raspberry lemonade sounds wonderful. And I so cannot wait for Top Chef tonight!

    Would love to hear more about your cooking class syllabus. Sounds fun!

    • Julie

      Thanks, Megan! Maybe I’ll send you my tentative syllabus — it’s skims the basics, and has a food blogging tie-in! Fun fun fun.

  8. Cute shoes. They looks almost as good as the lemonade, but not quite! I’m a lemonade lover, so this WILL be made…soon!

  9. Love your post today- I go back to work next week too, and I’m feeling the same way. Summer, where did you go? That lemonade is so pretty, it just may make summer hang around a bit longer!

  10. Love the post! I’m sure Summer’s forgiven you, all thanks to the raspberry lemonade (which sounds like what we desperately need here, since it’s summer all year round in Singapore!), and hey, those snazzy shoes don’t hurt either 😛

  11. I love your letter to summer (& the sassy shoes), both of which just made me look longingly out the window to check if there is a patch of blue sky, but nope…., grey skies, rain …, or was that sleet, yep…, sleet.
    I’m glad that summer is getting ready to make its way ‘down under’
    Cheers Anna

  12. hehe I love your letter to Summer! 😀 the lemonade looks lovely and so are those shoes! 😉

  13. Oooh! I bet this lemonade tastes great. Especially since it has a little fizz to it!

    Though I’m not lucky enough to have actually gotten a summer break :(, I definitely hear you on wanting summer to stay just a little longer. It really zipped by! Even though you didn’t hit the beach or the pool, if all you did was sleep in all day, personally that sounds like the summer I know and love to me! 🙂 And since we’re lucky enough to live in a state where summer weather sometimes lasts through October, there’s still a little time to get some summer activities in!

    P.S. Those really are a hot pair of shoes! 😉

  14. Yummy, the lemonade looks delicious and great way to appreciate summer. Thanks!

  15. I think the prettiest part of this lemonade is the straw through the raspberry. I’m totally borrowing that idea someday 🙂

    I haven’t made the best of summer either. I can’t wait til fall comes but I know once it does I’ll be craving this lemonade.

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  17. It’s our third day of a heat wave here, so you can imagine how a huge pitcher of that icy cold raspberry lemonade would be welcome relief here. I could drink an entire pitcher, myself! 😉

  18. oneordinaryday

    Sounds like the perfect way to spend the last days of summer – sitting on the porch with a good book in one hand that this lemonade in the other.

    I made cherry limeade the other day and popped a straw through the cherry for my daughter’s glass. I noticed hours later that the limeade was gone but the cherry was still on the straw, so I asked her why she hadn’t eaten it. She just put her hands on her hips and said, “Mama, you didn’t tell me I could eat that part!”

    • Julie

      LOL, too cute! I’m such a cherry limeade fan, by the way — had it just a month or so ago for the first time and now must make some!

  19. I think summer will forgive you for all your transgressions after seeing this beautiful lemonade.

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  21. I could sure use a glass of this right about now. My a/c is broken and my house is currently 90 degrees. I’m kind of not loving Summer right now…bring on Fall!!! But send me a glass of this raspberry lemonade first please!!

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