Ginger-Tea Lemonade

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous here in Pittsburgh. The temperature hovered in the upper-60’s all day, the sun was warm like your favorite blanket, and there was a wispy breeze that shot through the trees every so often. A perfect spring day that gave off a hint of summer, just waiting in the wings to bloom completely. It was the type of day that made me wish I had a house in the country with a wrap-around porch (or a house on the beach, with a patio or balcony overlooking the ocean), a big comfortable chair to sit in, a warm afternoon breeze, a favorite book, and some sort of ice cold, refreshing drink. That was my daydream. And this is my daydream drink.

Most people recognize the typical half-lemonade, half-iced tea drink as an “Arnold Palmer” – a drink popularized by its namesake, the golfer Arnold Palmer. Truth be told, I can usually take or leave both lemonade and iced tea. I like them well enough, but never crave them. However, black tea with fresh lemon juice, a ginger-spiked simple syrup and the refreshing bubbly of sparkling water sounded like summer perfection to me. And boy was I right. It’s definitely the drink I will make to celebrate my dream house in the country or on the beach!

Black tea, lemons, ginger and bubbles now seem like the most obvious combination of ingredients. Garnish with a little mint if you’d like and I think you’re set for summer. I know I am.

Two years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
Three years ago: Homemade Marshmallows

Ginger-Tea Lemonade

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


For the Ginger Simple Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

For the Lemonade:
2 cups water
3 black tea bags, preferably English breakfast tea
1-1/3 cups Ginger Simple Syrup, recipe follows
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, from 3 to 4 lemons
1 cup sparkling water or club soda, chilled
2 cups ice
Lemon slices, for garnish, optional


1. Make the Ginger Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, water and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bags. Stir and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add the Ginger Simple Syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water.

3. Put the ice in a large pitcher. Pour the lemonade mixture over the ice. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.

(Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)


36 Responses to “Ginger-Tea Lemonade”

  1. Katrina on April 15, 2011 at 1:20 am

    This is such a wonderful idea! I love ginger, and think pairing it with lemonade would be splendid!


  2. Maris (In Good Taste) on April 15, 2011 at 4:37 am

    So refreshing! The combination of lemon and ginger is almost medicinal and so tasty


  3. Ruth on April 15, 2011 at 5:15 am

    This looks great – perfect for the warmer months! Thanks for sharing!


  4. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on April 15, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Gorgeous photos!


  5. Lori @ RecipeGirl on April 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

    What a delicious and unique beverage! Looks yum.


  6. Justeen @ Blissful Baking on April 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

    This looks like a delicious and refreshing summer drink!


  7. jen @ the baked life on April 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

    yum this loooks good. I love the lemonade and tea combination on warm days.


  8. Fresh and Foodie on April 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

    What a delicious drink. I love the idea of using fresh ginger. I’ll definitely be making this once it gets warmer here in Chicago. Fingers crossed that it happens soon!


  9. Sara on April 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

    This sounds so good! I love ginger and lemon together. I can’t wait for summer to get here, so I can have this drink on hand.


  10. Jessica @ Dishin' About Nutrition on April 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Hello perfect summer recipe!! The warm weather has yet to make it’s way to Chicago but I am ready and waiting for it!! 🙂 This will be the perfect beverage to kick off the first day of nice weather….I’ll keep you posted if it ever comes! haha


  11. Dana Salvo on April 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Pretty pictures! Sounds great. I just bought two bags of lemons. Had planned on making lemonade but I just might give this a try 🙂


  12. Kate on April 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Looks so delicious and refreshing! Your pictures are beautiful as well!


  13. Brooks at Cakewalker on April 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Brown Eyed, you get me every time I stop by…what a grogeous looking beverage! I loved your descriptive of yesterday’s Pittsburgh weather – California has been spoiling us too, but nonetheless, this cool drink is on my list for the hot days chomping at the bit. Best, Brooks


  14. The Flourishing Foodie on April 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    This recipe looks so good, and so easy to make. Thanks for sharing.


  15. Amanda on April 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Beautiful! What a fun drink for summer 🙂


  16. Mike on April 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I love making drinks and you don’t see them enough on food blogs. That color is great! Looks delicious and refreshing.


  17. Lindsey@Lindselicious on April 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Oooh this is perfect for a baby shower I’m hosting in a month. I’ll make a non alcoholic one for the mama though. 🙂


    • Michelle on April 17th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Lindsey, This would be perfect for a shower! You don’t need to adapt it though – there is no alcohol in the recipe 🙂


  18. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on April 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    This looks ah-mazing. Very refreshing. Supposed to be beautiful in my neck of the woods tomorrow, so I may make myself a jug of this tea and enjoy all the flowers I planted last weekend!


  19. Tracy on April 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    We have been drinking home-brewed iced tea by the gallon lately! I usually add in lemon or orange slices but now I definitely want to add in some sparkling water as well! Yum!


  20. Happy When Not Hungry on April 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    This looks delicious! I love the fresh ginger too. Yum!


  21. Aleida on April 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I can’t say that I like black tea nor am I a huge fan of lemonade but I am most definitely intrigued by this recipe since I love ginger. I hope it really stands out!


  22. Parsley Sage on April 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. We’re dying in the middle of a mid-90s heat wave and I’m desperate for a cool and refreshing (and tasty!) drink. Thank you so much for sharing!


  23. Pudding Pie Lane on April 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Definitely a taste of the summer! Have you ever tried iced tea, like the ones Lipton make? I think that’s like the Arnold Palmer you were talking about, although I’ve never tried that. Maybe they’re the same thing, they sound quite similar 🙂


    • Michelle on April 17th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      I have never tried the Lipton iced tea mixes, but an “Arnold Palmer” is traditionally just half lemonade and half iced tea, no matter the brand.


  24. Baking Serendipity on April 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    What a perfect summer drink 🙂 This looks refreshing and delicious!


  25. Jen on April 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Wow, this sounds amazing!! I’m going to have to try it…totally obsessed with ginger.


  26. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen on April 18, 2011 at 7:55 am

    This is on my must-make list for sure! ♥


  27. Sheryl on April 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Well that looks absolutely delicious. I drink nothing but iced tea all summer so this is an interesting variation to spice things up a little. Plus, your photo makes it that more appealing!


  28. Mark on April 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Great work. The ginger simple syrup is a perfect addition. I could use that for some other cocktails as well. A perfect drink for a perfect day. Thanks.


  29. Meghna on April 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I am a huge fan of ginger tea…. I have it every day… great alt for summer…. Will definitely have to try this!!


  30. RisaG on May 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I make a lemonade from scratch that I found in a Bon Appetit booklet many years ago that is similar to the syrup part of your recipe. You make a Ginger-Mint Syrup, mix it with lemon juice and water and ice and ta-da – lemonade. I have adapted it over the years and sometimes I make it with Meyer Lemon juice when I find the lemons at Costco, sometimes with plain organic lemons from the supermarket, sometimes I mix it with Crystal Light Iced Tea, or homemade Iced Tea or Chai Tea, depends on the mood. This looks really good.


  31. Diane on May 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    How does lavender lemonade sound? That’s what I’ve been drinking. I did a search for “lavender” at your site and came up with nothing so far, so maybe I’ll send the recipe. =)

    Yours looks lovely! I’m not fond of the way ginger bites the back of my throat, but I may try it someday anyway.


    • Michelle on May 31st, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Oooh that sounds lovely! I don’t have any lavender recipes, so feel free to pass along any that you think I’d like!


      • Diane on October 13th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

        Well, summer’s over, and I got WAY behind on my email (and my life!), but here’s the recipe at last…

        Lavender Lemonade
        Boil 3 tablespoons of lavender in 2 cups of water for about 5 minutes. Cool and pour through a strainer. Add the lavender water to 1 quart lemonade. Pour over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and lavender blossoms. (The lemonade may be made with 3 cups water, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar. Adjust to taste.)

        The fun thing about this recipe is the way the lemonade turns pink as you add the lavender water (which is not pink) to it. It’s like a magic trick! =)

        I found high quality, inexpensive lavender suitable for culinary use at Atlantic Spice…their Lavender #1 is only $6 for 8 oz. and that’s a lot of lavender!


  32. Jill on April 17, 2013 at 9:18 am

    This sounds delicious, I love lemon and ginger and this is perfect and refreshing for summer.


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