Samantha’s Pink Lemonade – An American Girl Recipe

Pink Lemonade Recipe - American Girl

In Happy Birthday, Samantha! Samantha throws a “grown-up” tea party in honor of her 10th birthday. They serve tea sandwiches, petit fours, peppermint ice cream, and pink lemonade.

When I re-read this book recently (for the first time since I was a child), I started wondering about pink lemonade and how it was made. I mean, I knew it wasn’t made from pink lemons, but I never considered pink lemonade being a thing back in the early 1900s. I always just thought the pink color came from artificial coloring. I’m sure that’s where the color comes from nowadays in premade pink lemonade mixes, but it wasn’t always that way. It turns out, pink lemonade is traditionally made with a splash of cranberry juice.

So, while this recipe is incredibly simple, I really wanted to share it with you in case anyone else out there would love to make their own pink lemonade!

Samantha's Pink Lemonade - An American Girl Recipe

Samantha’s Pink Lemonade – An American Girl Recipe


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • extra sugar, to taste


  1. In a small pot on the stove, melt the water and 1 cup of sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Allow the sugar mixture to cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine the sugar water, lemon juice, and cranberry juice in a pitcher, and stir well.
  4. Chill the lemonade in the refrigerator, and add extra sugar if you think it needs it. If you use 100% cranberry juice, you will probably want more sugar. If you use a cranberry juice cocktail, you likely will not need more sugar.

I love the idea of pink lemonade as a tea alternative at a tea party. It’s still fun and fancy, and it’s perfect for serving with fancy tea-time treats.


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Good food is meant to be shared!


    • Courtney

      I know, I never suspected, but after making it and tasting it, cranberry juice makes perfect sense in lemonade. The tartness of the cranberry juice goes really nicely with the sourness of the lemon juice.

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