With the weather reaching high temperatures this summer, nothing beats cooling off with a cold glass of something refreshing – especially when it’s a drink that goes down oh-so-easily.
Being from Colorado, I get to experience a ton of sun during the summer, but we don’t have much water to cool off with. There might be some lakes here and there, but it’s nothing like the vast expanse of ocean surrounding the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Hawaii…
So, I’m constantly dreaming about running away to the islands. Any island will do, as long as there is an incredible beach and some palm trees. I’m not picky.
I was actually in Hawaii not too long ago, and I was so inspired as I ate and drank my way through the island of Kauai. Sweet, tropical flavors were prevalent in everything from drinks to desserts, savory creations, and even sushi.
It’s hard not to enjoy the relaxation that tropical fruits like pineapple and coconut bring to the party when you are devouring them. I believe this is because they come paired with vivid imagery of drinking out of a coconut, sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, and enjoying the cool breeze off the ocean.
Perhaps that’s just me? Please tell me I’m not the only one that experiences this feeling of being completely transported…
Regardless of the imagery that is brought to mind for you, this tropical lemonade recipe is a cool and refreshing delight that will be enjoyed by everyone you serve it to.
I highly recommend embracing the theme as much as you can, and pairing this cool, fruity beverage with tropical bites like Hawaiian chicken thighs or spicy peanut chicken satay.
The sweet flavors of emon paired with the tropical flavors of juices like these provide the perfect blend to celebrate any occasion.
The base of the fruit punch is lemonade, elevated by huge leaps and bounds with the addition of pineapple juice, coconut water, and passion fruit juice. The overall mixture is sweet and citrusy, with a delicious tropical vibe.
There’s a brightness from the pineapple and passion fruit, a touch of spice from grated fresh ginger, and a smooth richness from the coconut water to mellow everything out. You’ll find all the classic flavors of a tropical cocktail, but in a non-alcoholic pitcher of sunshine and refreshment.
Of course, if you want to make this for your next happy hour, you can definitely adapt this recipe to make it happen. To make this punch alcoholic, add a shot of spiced rum to each glass, or stick with a white rum or vodka to let the flavors of the various juices shine through.
If you prefer to go the large-batch route, pick your poison and add about a cupful per pitcher, taste, and adjust as needed. You don’t want your punch to pack too much of a punch!
Who can resist a tropical themed happy hour anyway? Pump up the beach vibes, and get into the mood. If you listen closely enough, you might just be able to pick out the faint sound of the waves crashing on the shore…Print
The Best Tropical Lemonade
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
Find your escape with the best tropical lemonade recipe. A blend of pineapple, passion fruit, and coconut brings the flavors of the islands to your lips.
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 2/3 cups water, divided
- 3 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup passion fruit juice
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- Fresh pineapple chunks or slices for garnish (optional)
- Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and simple syrup has begun to thicken. Transfer to another container and cool completely.
- Place the lemon juice, simple syrup, and the rest of the water in a large pitcher and stir to combine.
- Add the pineapple and passion fruit juices, coconut water, and fresh ginger. Stir to combine.
- Chill for a few hours before serving, or serve in tall glasses over ice, garnished with pineapple chunks or slices.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Lemonade
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Beverages
Keywords: lemonade, tropical, pineapple, passion fruit, coconut water
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Grate Ginger, Cut Pineapple, and Prep Liquid Ingredients
Using a small grater or microplane, grate a peeled 2-inch piece of fresh ginger until you have 2 grated tablespoons. My favorite way to peel ginger is to use the edge of a spoon – it will scrape off easily.
Peel, core, and cut about 1/3 of a whole pineapple into chunks or slices for garnish. You’ll want at least 6 to 8 chunks or 1 slice for each. Even though they aren’t strictly tropical, homemade maraschino cherries also make a nice addition!
If you will be using fresh pineapple and passion fruit juice, prep your fruit and process it using your juicer, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Fresh young coconut juice is also a delicious option, if these are available at your local grocery store.
If you plan to use bottled juice, look for unsweetened varieties without preservatives whenever possible, for the best flavor. Coconut water without added sweeteners or pulp is also best to use for this recipe. If you will be using premade lemonade, measure out 4 cups and skip the next step.
Step 2 – Make Lemonade
To make the lemonade that serves as the base of this recipe, juice 4-5 lemons to get about 2/3 cup of juice, and discard any seeds. The peels can be reserved for another use, like making citrus candy.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 2/3 cup of water to make a simple syrup. Place over medium-high heat and allow the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat after a few minutes, when the liquid has begun to reduce.
Transfer to another container and allow to cool completely, either on the counter, in the refrigerator, or in an ice bath.
When the syrup has cooled completely, combine it with the lemon juice and 3 cups of cold water in a large pitcher. Stir and add lemon juice to taste, if desired.
Step 3 – Combine
Add the pineapple juice, passion fruit juice, coconut water, and grated ginger, and stir to combine.
If you’d like, you can also combine the ginger with a few cups of the liquid in a high speed blender to pulverize it further, then strain out the pulp if you want to remove any pieces of ginger from the lemonade before serving.
I like to serve this delicious beverage in highball glasses over ice, garnished with pineapple. If you like, you can chill the lemonade for a few hours before serving. Just remember to stir it up before you pour.
Simple Recipes Are Always the Best
I’m a big fan of fruity drinks, but I’m an even bigger fan of recipes that are simple to make. With all the craziness of everyday life, it’s nice to have some simple recipes in your back pocket to whip out so you don’t have to think too hard about what you are making.
That’s the genius of this recipe.
It’s all about simple ingredients coming together to form a drink that you can enjoy anytime you want a taste of the tropics.
If you really want to make this tropical lemonade stand out, be sure to use 100% real fruit juice. And don’t skimp on that tropical garnish – a toothpick umbrella or a palm tree skewer can go a long way towards making that imagined island escape feel a little more real. (I did mention that a shot or two of rum couldn’t hurt either, right?)
What tropical vacation do you wish you were going on right now? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
Do you love lemonade like we do? Be sure to try some of these tasty variations:
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on May 29, 2012. Last updated: October 25, 2020 at 1:06 am. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.