Redbud Pink Lemonade

Learn how to make naturally pink lemonade using redbud flowers, lemons, and your sweetener of choice.

It’s that time of year around here where the sweet pink mist of redbud flowers is visible around the edge of the woods, and it won’t be too much longer until they’re gone! So while they’re still here, why not use the magic of lemon juice and redbud tea to enjoy a naturally pink redbud lemonade?

Image is of a pinterest pin for how to make redbud jelly. The words are large and in white, with white floral graphics on a pink background. An image of a glass of pink redbud lemonade is underneath it, with a scattering of redbud flowers at the base of the glass. At the very bottom of the image, a pink strip sits with the Unruly Gardening logo.
Redbud flowers combine with lemon in this refreshing springtime lemonade!

As an added bonus – redbud flowers are high in vitamin C! For more information about foraging and using redbuds, check out our article: Identifying & Using Redbud Flowers

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup redbud flowers, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4-5 tbsp sugar (or honey, or stevia, or whatever your sweetener of choice may be- sweetener amount may need adjusting if sugar is not used.)
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water

Start by making redbud tea. Pick 1/4 cup of redbud flowers and place in a heat-safe container, making sure you’ve only got flowers in your container and no bugs are hitching a ride. Heat your 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small pan, and pour over the flowers.

Cover the top of the container, and let steep overnight in the fridge. It’s important to let it steep this long if you want pink lemonade instead of regular! Redbud flowers give up their pigment very reluctantly, and it takes 12+ hours to make them give up enough color.

Strain out and discard the plant matter. You should end up with a tea that is a very, very pale pink (or peach-ish) color. This isn’t the final color, so don’t worry about how pale and faded the color is just yet!

Image is of a jar of faintly yellow/peach-ish liquid. A hand is holding the jar near the top. Blurry green leaves can be seen in the background.
This looks just slightly pinker in real life!

Set this aside, and squeeze out the juice of 3 lemons. Strain the juice to remove seeds and pulp (or just pick out the seeds/use a strainer that’s not as fine if you like the pulp), and add the juice straight to your tea.

As soon as the lemon juice touches the tea, it’ll start turning color to a brighter, more vibrant shade of pink.

It’s fun to watch! Stir it to make sure it all mixes together.

Image is of a glass jar half-full of bright pink liquid. A hand is holding the jar near the top. In the background, blurry green leaves can be seen.
After the lemon juice is added – it’s now nice and bright and pink!

To make the finished pink lemonade, combine your mixed redbud-lemon-juice/tea with 1 1/2 cups of cold water. Add the sugar or your sweetener of choice. Stir to dissolve, taste what you have, and adjust ingredients to taste. This makes for a very tangy lemonade, so if you like your lemonade sweeter, you may need to add more sugar/honey/etc.

The finished lemonade is bright and tangy, and a lovely natural shade of pink!

Image of a glass of faintly pink lemonade with ice floating near the top. Inside the glass, a few pink flowers can be seen. At the base of the glass, there are some scattered redbud flowers.
A foraged and all natural lemonade to enjoy during springtime!

Want to try making something else with redbud flowers?

Try out my Redbud Jelly recipe!

glass of redbud lemonade

Redbud Lemonade

Learn how to make naturally pink lemonade using redbud flowers, lemons, and your sweetener of choice.
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Course: Drinks
Keyword: lemonade, lemons, redbud
Total Time: 12 hours
Servings: 2 cups

Equipment

  • pint canning jar, or other heatproof container
  • fine mesh strainer

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup redbud flowers, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 to 5 tbsp sugar, or other sweetener of your choice
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water

Instructions

  • Place the redbud flowers in a heatproof jar or container.
  • Pour boiling water over the redbud flowers.
  • Let cool until the jar/container is comfortable enough to handle, then cover and move to the refrigerator.
  • Infuse the redbuds for 12 hours.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and strain. The redbud tea might look very pale and unpromising at this point – that's okay!
  • Squeeze the juice of three lemons, then add the lemon juice to the redbud tea.
  • Stir well. The redbud tea should brighten up in color as soon as the lemon juice is added.
  • Add the sugar or your sweetener of choice. Stir well then taste test. If needed, add more sweetener until your lemonade tastes just right for you.
  • Pour over ice and enjoy your tangy and naturally pink lemonade!

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