Welcome back to A Common Kitchen this week everyone! I don’t know about you but I love Spring and Fall. I love that there is just a slight breeze and (sometimes) even rain! To be completely honest, I don’t like when it’s full on Winter and Summer. I’m extremely uncomfortable when it’s cold and when it’s hot. Spring and Fall are my two favorite seasons, without a doubt. So whenever it gets very cold outside, I start making my Cardamom French Hot Chocolate and when it starts to get hot outside I make this Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade.
And you guys, this Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade is so dang good! Almost every other Lemonade I have ever had has been waaaaay too sweet or waaaaay too tart. Oddly enough, people can’t seem to get the perfect balance between the two! And well, I think I have found the perfect balance! You see, one of the most common mistakes that people make when making lemonade is they just add sugar to the water and stir it, desperately hoping that all of the sugar dissolves. The problem here is that the sugar never fully dissolves so you get a grainy lemonade with the sweetness all concentrated at the bottom. To solve this problem, I use a simple sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water) that is heated in a saucepan to fully dissolve the sugar. Problem solved! This method distributes the sugar evenly throughout and doesn’t have any graininess. AT ALL.
The next step to Perfect Lemonade is… fresh lemons…shocker! You’d be surprised how many people just use canned or bottled lemon juice which usually has additives (such as citric acid) that doesn’t have the same fresh and natural lemon flavor. OR, people don’t use enough lemon juice and the lemon flavor is over powered by the sugar and water. In this recipe I call for a FULL TWO CUPS of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This is enough lemon juice to not be over powered by the sugar + water and to not over power those same ingredients! I know that 5 pounds of lemons sounds like a lot of lemons to juice but I promise, it’s worth it! You can also get one of those handy dandy lemon juicers that make juicing A LOT easier! You can get lemon juicers that juice directly into a measuring cup (less dishes yay!) and catch the seeds a pulp for you! Trust me, get one of these and you won’t regret it.
Another component that makes this Lemonade 93649571 times better than any other lemonade is that it is Sparkling lemonade. And to make sparkling lemonade is simple: just add some sparkling water instead of regular ole flat water! It will make the lemonade carbonated (like soda) and makes the drink feel ‘lighter’ which I prefer for a refreshing summer beverage. You can get single bottles of sparkling water at almost every grocery store nowadays and to be honest, any brand of sparkling water will do. Perrier is a great brand but I use San Pellegrino exclusively because Jake LOVES it and buys a box from Costco every week.
Okay okay… one more amazing thing about this lemonade is the blackberries! I love blackberries because they are juicy, sweet, and slightly tart. They balance out the sweetness from the lemonade perfectly. This recipe will work with any berry you prefer too! It would be delicious with raspberries, strawberries, or maybe even some crushed mango if you’re feeling tropical! I used blackberries here because they looked so delicious and plump but like I said, use whatever you have!
If you try this recipe, I promise you will love it! Everyone needs a quick, easy, and simple drink for the upcoming hot summer months and this Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade is it! If you try this recipe or any other from the blog, please share your comments, thoughts, and photos with me! I would love to hear from everyone! Also, if you want to watch a quick little “How-To” on how I made this lemonade, head over to my Instagram (@acommonkitchen) and find it in my Stories! Happy baking everyone!
Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade
1 ½ Cups White Granulated Sugar
1 ½ Cups Water
5 Pounds Organic Lemons
2-3 Bottles San Pellegrino Sparkling Water (or your fav brand!)
2 Small (or 1 Large) Clamshells of Organic Blackberries (about 18 Ounces)
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a large measuring cup and let cool completely.
Using a lemon juicer (or your hands!) juice enough lemons to get two full cups of lemon juice. Pour the lemon juice through a fine mesh sieve into another measuring cup to get out any large pieces of pulp or seeds that may have gotten through. Set aside.
In a large pitcher, combine the cooled sugar simple syrup and lemon juice and mix until combined. Add in the San Pellegrino Sparkling Water and mix again just until combined. Put in the fridge to cool down.
In a cup, add a handful or so of blackberries and use a coffee tamper or spoon to slightly smoosh them. You can smoosh as much or as little as you prefer. I like a mix of small and large chunks in mine!
Add a few cubes of ice to the cups and top with the Sparkling Lemonade. Give everything one last stir and enjoy!