Picture this: it’s the third day of summer vacation — the one before 5th grade. You wake up bright and early at 7 AM sharp. You run downstairs for breakfast. Mom and dad are getting ready for work, so you’re on your own this morning for breakfast. You’re digging through the pantry for the last strawberry Poptart when you see it: a tub of powdered lemonade. Your brain begins buzzing with ideas. You run to the landline, call up three of your best buds telling them to come over as fast as they can.
It hits: you’re about to have the best lemonade stand on the block. And you’re about to be swimming in cash.
Ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer day hits in a way like no other. The tart yellow drink was a staple to your childhood for that reason, whether you were living out your young entrepreneurial fantasies or pouring from the pitcher hand-squeezed by mama.
Nowadays, maybe a refreshing glass of lemonade is accompanied by the best tequila on your bar cart or maybe a cheap vodka brand you’re giving a whirl. Nonetheless, the best lemonade is and always will be that beverage.
Lemonade has come somewhat of a long way since we were kids. Not only are some of the OG brands we were sipping as tykes still heavily prevalent in the world of lemonade, but there are a few citrus-packed newcomers to try that might be your new favorite in adulthood. See below and check out all of our favorites.
1. Simply Lemonade
If you consider yourself a lemonade connoisseur, you will know wholeheartedly that no other glass of lemonade hits the way Simply Lemonade does. It’s consistently uber refreshing every single time and has a sweet, tart yet not overpowering taste both kids and adults can get behind. Simply Lemonade is a non-concentrate alternative to your mom’s homemade lemonade recipe and promises an all-natural concoction in each bottle.
2. Califia Farms Meyer Lemonade
Using only California-sourced citrus, Califa Farms Meyer Lemonade is a deliciously tart option that’s pretty hard to beat. All bottles include a recipe that’s entirely vegan, kosher, gluten-free, BPA-free and non-GMO, so this lemonade can fit into just about anyone’s diet. It tastes as if it is homemade and sits deliciously in a freezing glass filled to the top with ice on the hottest day of the year.
3. Simply Lemonade with Strawberry
BEST PINK LEMONADE
Sorry not sorry that we had to put Simply Lemonade in here twice before we hit spot four — it’s just that good. Pink lemonade is definitely more of a miss than it is a hit. A lot of the time, pink lemonade has a lot more of a sugary, chemically, artificial taste than regular lemonade does, but not when it comes to Simply Lemonade’s strawberry flavor. This stuff is pink lemonade done right and uses only natural ingredients to give a sweet, hint-of-berry taste with each sip.
4. Sparkling Ice Lemonade
Lemonade with a little fizz? Sign us up. Sparkling Ice is a zero-sugar sparkling lemonade that has colors and flavors derivative from natural sources. They’re packed with antioxidants and vitamins and exude a real fruit flavor that feels somewhat diluted but still totally delicious. The only downfall? The bottle is kind of reminiscent of an alcohol bottle for whatever reason. Take it from our e-commerce editor Tyler who was pulled over a few years back with one of these in the cupholder. Let’s just say the police didn’t take it too well.
5. Country Time Lemonade
This is the stuff that made your lemonade stand as a child the talk of the block. You already know what it is and how to do it — mix Country Time’s tasty powder into a pitcher of water, add a freezer’s worth of ice and get stirring. In minutes, you’ll have a tasty couple of glasses you can sell with your kids in the front of the house. Hey, maybe even make it boozy on the down-low.
6. Arizona Arnold Palmer Tea
BEST HALF ICED TEA
Lemonade iced tea truly hits different. It’s a genuinely refreshing summer combination that quenches unlike any other beverage on this planet. It might come as a surprise to some, but surprisingly, our favorite lemonade iced tea combination is none other than Arizona’s Arnold Palmer Tea. It was a childhood staple for us and still manages to land on our taste buds in just the right way it did when we were kids. It’s the perfect middle mix between the two drinks and really proves as a force to be reckoned with.
7. Mio Lemonade
Remember Mio? Well, if you don’t, Mio gained popularity a few years back as a zero-calorie water flavor enhancer to make plain-tasting waters a sweet treat. Some might have thought the idea was kind of gross, but trust us, this little bottle makes a delicious glass of lemonade. Simply squeeze it into your average ice-filled glass of water, mix it around a little and BAM — you have yourself a nice, refreshing glass of lemonade. This is a great option to bring with you on-the-go so you can transform tap water at restaurants or the average vending machine water bottle into a sweet glass of lemonade.