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Nothing says summertime like vodka strawberry lemonade cocktails! These refreshing drinks are perfect for dining al fresco, and are sure to please everyone at your next party. They are easy to make, and can be tailored to fit your taste preferences. So grab a pitcher of vodka strawberry lemonade and enjoy the warm weather!
Now that the weather is really nice, we have been enjoying our backyard now more than ever! Our garden is flourishing, thank goodness because I was so afraid of killing all my plants, and we're patiently waiting for some ripe strawberries to adorn the garden beds!
Because the moment they do, I won't have to get them from the farmers' market and I'll be able to make plenty of spiked strawberry lemonade on demand, especially when we're eating dinner out back or watching Greyson play with the kids out front with our neighbors.
It's such a simple and delicious cocktail that is a must-have to cool you down on a hot summer day. If you're a fan of sweet cocktails, this baby is for you!
How to Make A Strawberry Vodka Lemonade Cocktail
There are two ways to make yourself a lovely strawberry lemonade cocktail.
First, the super simple way. You'll need your favorite pink lemonade, which can be store-bought or you can make your own strawberry lemonade, it's really easy. Mix in your favorite vodka, add in some slices of fresh strawberries and fresh lemon slices, a little mint garnish, and boom, an easy simple recipe.
But of course, you know my go-to recipe is going to be super easy too, but it's going to be way more flavor-packed and totally homemade. My fruity lemonade recipes, cocktail or not, are basically the true unofficial start to the summer every memorial day weekend, we have to start it with a bang.
First, we make strawberry syrup. I love this stuff; it's incredibly easy to make, it can go into a ton of amazing cocktails and mocktails, you can thicken it up and make a syrup perfect for pouring over ice cream or using in milkshakes, I mean this stuff is spring and summer gold.
All you do is take sliced strawberries, water, and sugar and bring it to a boil then simmer and you then have syrup that smells and tastes like the freshest strawberry patch in the world. And these berries don't have to be pretty at all. You know the ones that are all wrinkly and smell overly sweet and no one wants to eat because they're not pretty anymore? This is the perfect way to use them up.
So now that you have the strawberry simple syrup, it's time for the perfect strawberry lemonade. My homemade strawberry lemonade recipe is made with both smashed strawberries and strawberry syrup added to fresh lemon juice, sugar, and many cups of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. I don't want to toot my own horn, but that mix of simple ingredients makes a lemonade so good, it's been called 'seriously addictive' by many friends!
What is more perfect on a hot day than homemade lemonade with fresh fruit? An easy cocktail utilizing it.
So next is the vodka. Use your favorite one, you can also find my suggestions of the best vodkas to use per budget point down below.
This recipe is for a big pitcher, so pour in your strawberry lemonade, vodka, the strawberry syrup, some ice, and garnishing with lemon wedge or wheels and/or many a strawberry slice, then serve! You really can't beat this strawberry lemonade vodka drink with a stick!
How to Choose the Best Fresh Berries
Finding great fresh strawberries is really easy when you know what you're looking for at the grocery store. Here are my tips on finding a nice batch of fresh berries. You're going to look in those berry boxes, don't be afraid to pop it open and investigate (carefully!) if you're unsure about what you're looking at.
- The redder the better. When strawberries are picked, they don't ripen further afterwards like a banana does. Once picked, that's it! So find strawberries that are very red with minimal white or green on the berry for optimal ripeness and sweetness.
- No shrivelled skin. If you notice a berry that's darker red and dry looking, it's on its way out. Probably won't be any good by tomorrow and might start molding, don't risk it. Choose berries that are plump and shiny, instead.
- Check every berry. We all know the devastation that happens when you bring home a box of berries to find some rotting, molded berry that was hiding stealthily between the beautiful ones. So make sure you can see every berry in the box before buying it.
- Look at the freshness of the leaves. The older the strawberries, the more dull and wilted their green leaves will be. Look for fresh, lively looking leaves because that means that is a newer box of berries!
Summer Recipes to Serve with Vodka Cocktails
We are usually dining al fresco as soon as the warm weather kicks in and all through summer, so cocktails and dinner or lunch tend to go hand-in-hand! Even a nice brunch!
A beautiful plate of lobster eggs benedict goes so great with this. Butter poached chunks of lobster, a stunning poached egg, and plenty of creamy, lemony hollandaise sauce. It's my perfect summer brunch dish.
If you're out grilling, make some amazing carne asada! I absolutely love making homemade tacos because they're the perfect party food in opinion.
If you're having a light lunch, this strawberry spinach salad is a perfect side or main dish with crunchy candied walnuts or pecans, creamy feta cheese, and a bright poppy seed citronette, it's the salad-haters' salad.
Best Vodka to Use
The general rule is 'the cheaper the vodka, the more harsh it'll burn'. Here are my top picks by price point of vodkas that are smooth with great flavor.
Under $20: Svedka Vodka. It costs ten bucks for a 750 mL bottle and is smooth with a slight citrusy flavor. It's great for martinis and this strawberry vodka lemonade, especially if you're going to be serving it up for a party. Affordable and tasty.
Under $50: Grey Goose or Belvedere Vodkas. We always have a bottle of these on hand for cocktails at home. They are smooth and easy to drink and are fantastic in an array of vodka cocktails.
Over $50: Harlem Haberdashery Bespoke Vodka. Gotta love the fun name! This Black-owned vodka distillery makes small-batch vodka that is triple distilled. It tastes very smooth and clean and I love it in simple martinis (like this strawberry martini!) or more complex drinks.
Variations of Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Cocktails
Don't want to make a strawberry syrup? You can throw some strawberries in the blender for fresh strawberry puree instead! It's so, so delicious, especially if you use frozen strawberries!
You can use a flavored vodka of any kind, like citrus vodka or strawberry vodka. Those are great options to amplify that summertime flavor. You can also infuse vodka yourself, a fun and tasty project where you can make endless flavor combinations!
Make it a frozen strawberry lemonade vodka cocktail slushy by using a blender to crush the ice (use a lot of it!). Bonus points for adding a bag of frozen strawberries!
Make it fizzy and bubbly by adding club soda into the pitcher for your large batch, or simply top it off with the sparkling water if you're making a cocktail for one or two.
Add ginger beer for a cocktail version of my favorite sparkling ginger strawberry lemonade!
More Fruity Summer Drinks
- Blackberry Bourbon Smash
- Iced Guava Passionfruit Drink (Starbucks Copycat)
- Strawberry Gin Smash
- Watermelon Agua Fresca
- Hard Brazilian Limeade
Tools I Used for this Recipe
- my boos brothers block cutting board
- my favorite chef knife
- a small saucepan for making the strawberry syrup
- a citrus juicer for squeezing lemons
- a pitcher to hold it all in
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- ½ pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 cups cold water
- ½ cup strawberry simple syrup
- 1 cup vodka
- Ice, for serving
- At the bottom of a pitcher or in a medium sized mixing bowl, smash the fresh strawberries with the sugar and ¼ cup lemon juice until the strawberries are releasing juice and are well muddled.
- Add the lemon juice and cold water to the pitcher (or add the mashed and macerated strawberries to the pitcher with the water if you used a bowl). Stir well.
- Add the strawberry simple syrup and vodka to the pitcher, stir well to combine. Add ice and serve cold!
Need instructions on making a super fast and easy strawberry syrup? Click this link!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 0g
All nutrition facts are estimations. Please see a physician for any health-related inquiries.
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.