As gorgeous as it looks, this is a super easy drink to put together. Simply combine the raspberries (or sub any other kind of berry) with sugar and a little vanilla extract, and let them macerate in the bottom of a pitcher or large bowl for about 20 minutes or so (you can even prep this part overnight if you prefer). In the meantime, you can squeeze your lemon juice (PLEASE don't use those gross little squeezey bottles--that stuff is nasty). Then add the lemon juice, plus water and ice, give it a stir, and you're all set! I leave this drink pulpy and with the seeds in it, because I like it that way (plus, added fiber!), but if you prefer, you can certainly pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds.
This is a great drink to serve at bridal or baby showers, or really just about any summer party. I love that it's so bright and colorful, yet completely natural.
Want to spike it up? Substitute part of the water for your favorite booze--I suggest either vodka or tequila.
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Raspberry Vanilla Lemonade
Serves about 6
1 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw; substitute granulated white sugar)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups cold water
1 vanilla bean, split (optional)
2 cups ice
Combine sugar, raspberries, and vanilla in a large pitcher or bowl. Stir and let macerate for 20 minutes. Use the back of a fork to mash raspberries periodically.
Add lemon juice and water, and stir. Add the vanilla bean, if using, and ice. Stir and serve immediately.