Beach Party Pink Lemonade

At our house, a picnic isn’t a picnic without something colorful to drink. And because we are who we are, we also want our fun drinks to be good for us.

Introducing pink lemonade made from herbs.

When people say blueberries and pomegranates are superfoods, they’re talking about antioxidants. Like berries, herbs like purple shiso and purple basil are sources of the powerful class of antioxidants called anthocyanins.


1 bunch purple shiso or purple basil

A quart Mason jar

1/2 to 1 cup lemon juice

1/3 to 2/3 cup honey or other sweetener, more or less to taste

A gallon jar, as in sun tea

Plentiful ice cubes


If there’s a rubber band around the herbs, remove it. Cram the herbs into the bottom of a quart Mason jar. We like to throw a fork on top to encourage the leaves to stay down. Dump boiling water over the herbs and put them straight into the fridge to cool. After a few minutes, this liquid will resemble the color of Easter egg dye. Unlike Easter egg dye, this stuff is very good for you.

At this point, you have some choices to make about how to enjoy your shockingly colored, super-nutritious beverage.

  1. The Daily Cup

    That quart jar of purple tea in your fridge is concentrated. Each time you need something cold to drink, put some ice water in a tall glass, and hit it with a splash of purple tea. If you’re going this route, you don’t need the lemon juice and sweetener. So refreshing.

Step 1 - Purple Tea
Step 2 - Add the sweetened lemon juice

2. The Beach Party

Fill a big sun tea jar about half or 1/3 full with ice cubes. Fill the jar with cold water til it’s mostly full. Dump the quart jar of steeped herbs and purple liquid into that big jar of ice water.

In a separate glass, dissolve whatever you’re using for sweetener in a little water, and add the lemon juice. If there are kids around, call them over now.

When you dump the glass of sweetened lemon juice into the big jar of purple tea, a chemical reaction occurs. The tea turns pink! It’s very festive, and adds a little je ne sais quoi to ordinary lemonade.

NB: If you want to conduct some further (but inedible) home chemistry experiments on this whole magical dynamic with kids, check out this DIY kids’ chemistry experiment.