Here’s a fresh spin on cherry limeade! Make this crowd pleasing drink by the glass, and you can adjust the flavors to taste.
Here’s a fresh spin on a classic drink: cherry limeade! Cherry and lime go hand in hand, and they are the absolute perfect combination for summer drinks to beat the heat. We’ve got two versions of this drink to fit all palates. The base version of this recipe is a grown-up spin on the classic from Sonic, bubbly and just sweet tart enough. But want the more classic version? Double the cherry and make it with Sprite. The best part? Stuffed with cocktail cherries and lime slices, it’s the most festive drink around. (You might want to skip right to the recipe.)
Ingredients for cherry limeade
Are you looking for cherry limeade from Sonic? That concoction is packed with sugar and made with Sprite. This recipe can replicate those nostalgic flavors. But want a fresh and healthy cherry limeade with less sugar that’s just as refreshing? We’ve got that too. Here’s what you’ll need for both versions:
- Homemade limeade: This fresh limeade is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s full of the best zingy flavor, and it’s quick and easy to put together. (No heating on the stove required.)
- Maraschino juice: That is, the juice that’s inside a can of maraschino cherries. (NOT maraschino liqueur, that’s something entirely different.)
- Soda water or lemon lime soda: The grown up version of this drink uses soda water, which has no sweetener. Or you can use lemon lime soda (read: Sprite) for the nostalgic classic version.
How to make cherry limeade…for a crowd
The main way to make this cherry limeade is to make a big pitcher of homemade limeade. Then you can pour glasses of the limeade and maraschino juice, and top it off with soda. Here’s what to know about how to make a pitcher of limeade:
- Juice the limes. This is the most time consuming part of the process…by far! A press juicer makes quick work of getting 1 1/4 cups lime juice: here’s the juicer we use.
- Mix sugar with warm water, then add cold water. Mix 1 cup each sugar and warm water until it dissolves. Mix it with 7 cups cold water and you’ve got limeade!
- Make each glass! Each glass uses 3/4 cup limeade, 1 tablespoon maraschino juice and 2 tablespoons soda water or Sprite. Another option: just mix the maraschino into the limeade pitcher (use 3/4 cup).
Using soda water vs Sprite
To make the “adult” healthy version of cherry limeade that’s less sweet: use soda water! It has no artificial sweeteners or flavors. We used soda water from our soda stream, but you can also use store-bought club soda or even lime flavored sparkling water or La Croix (it’s not sweetened).
But if you’re looking for those nostalgic Sonic flavors, you can use Sprite! That’s what Sonic uses in their concoction. You’ll also want to double the maraschino juice to get a sweeter cherry limeade.
Cherry limeade by the glass
Want to just make one glass of cherry limeade? Sometimes you don’t want to have to make an entire pitcher. (Then you can get away with only juicing 1 lime!) Here are the steps to make cherry limeade by the glass:
- Single serving of limeade: Squeeze 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime) into a glass. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons warm water and stir until it dissolves. Pour in 3/4 cup cold water.
- Add the cherry and soda water. Top off the glass to your taste!
And that’s it! Make up this fresh cherry limeade to stay cool all summer. Let us know if you like the healthy version or nostalgic spin in the comments below.
More cooling summer drinks
Here are a few more summer drinks that are perfect for beating the heat!
- Fresh Lemonade or Sparkling Lemonade Here’s how to make the best lemonade recipe from freshly squeezed lemons! Using real citrus makes extraordinary sweet tart flavor.
- Lemonade Slushie This lemonade slushie is icy and tangy: drink it straight up or spike it with gin for a kick!
- Pimm’s Cup Refreshing and bubbly, featuring Pimm’s No. 1 and sparkling lemonade!
- Frozen Hot Chocolate Missing hot chocolate when it’s hot outside? Solution: FROZEN hot chocolate! It’s an iced version of the drink that’s out of this world good.
Want more lime recipes? Head to 15 Zingy Lime Recipes.
This fresh cherry limeade is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
Here’s a fresh spin on cherry limeade! Make this crowd pleasing drink by the glass, and you can adjust flavors to taste.
- 3/4 cup homemade limeade* (or 1 lime and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar)
- 1 tablespoon maraschino juice (from a jar of maraschino cherries)
- 2 tablespoons soda water (or lemon lime soda like Sprite), to taste
- Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
- Make the pitcher of homemade limeade. (Or for a single serving, squeeze 2 tablespoons lime juice into a glass. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons warm water and stir until it dissolves. Pour in 3/4 cup cold water.)
- Pour the maraschino juice into the limeade. Top off with soda water or soda. For a more classic sweeter version, double the maraschino juice and top off with a little more soda, to taste.
*1 recipe homemade limeade makes 8 to 9 cups or enough for about 12 servings of cherry limeade. You can also make an entire pitcher with 1 recipe limeade and 3/4 cup maraschino juice.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cherry limeade, Healthy cherry limeade
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.