Honey Ginger Lemonade Recipe | A Virtual Picnic for the Planet

Lemonade made with honey and ginger adds a kick to a classic.

honey ginger lemonade

A few weekends ago, spring was temporarily shoved aside by summer who decided he’d had enough of waiting his turn. It was warm — no, hot — and I opened up all the windows on the off chance a cool breeze might find its way inside.  It felt good to be hot for the first time in months, and it made me a little lazy, so I decided to sit outside and enjoy it for a while.

It was one of those days when you want to kick off your shoes and walk barefoot on the grass.  The kind you spend lounging around for hours eating, drinking and forgetting your worries.  It was the kind of day you want to spend en plein air (outdoors); this was perfect picnic weather.

honey ginger lemonade

There is something incredibly indulgent about a picnic.  Even if you only pack a few simple things at the last minute and head over to the neighborhood park, it’s a special occasion. It may be nothing fancier than a few sandwiches and a couple cool drinks, but the act of eating a meal outdoors holds with it the promise of a carefree day.

Maybe it’s because we don’t often take the time to sit outside, relax and enjoy the sunshine.  Picnicking is an unhurried pleasure, and lazily passing the day observing the world around us is a luxury we don’t treat ourselves to nearly enough.

honey ginger lemonade

A cool glass of honey ginger lemonade seems just right on one of those lovely, long, lazy days outside.   It starts with simple syrup made from equal parts water and honey, heated briefly to dissolve.  Into that goes the “zing,” a few ounces of grated ginger, and it’s left to infuse. Once the syrup is made, the lemonade is almost ready to pour.  The syrup is strained, cooled and mixed with fresh lemon juice, cold water, and ice cubes. Add a little vodka for extra kick, and this sweet and spicy lemonade transforms into a light cocktail.

What are your favorite things to bring on a picnic?

Serves Serves 4 to 6

Honey Ginger Lemonade Recipe

A cool glass of honey ginger lemonade seems just right on one of those lovely, long, lazy summer days.

30 minPrep Time

Save Recipe


    For the honey ginger syrup:
  • 1 cup (250ml) honey (I use wildflower honey)
  • 1 cup (250ml) water (filtered or spring)
  • 4oz (115g) fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated (I use a microplane zester)
  • For the lemonade:
  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained (about 5 large lemons)
  • 3 cups (750ml) cold filtered or spring water (flat or sparkling)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vodka (optional)
  • Ice for serving
  • Sliced lemons and mint sprigs for garnish (optional)


    To make the honey ginger syrup:
  1. Place the honey and water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until honey is completely dissolved.
  2. Turn off heat and add the freshly grated ginger and any juices. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain syrup thorough a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the ginger pulp and then discarding the solids.
  4. Pour into a bottle or jar, let cool completely and then chill until cold, about 1 hour. The syrup will keep in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  5. To make the lemonade:
  6. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and the honey ginger syrup to a large pitcher.
  7. Add 3 cups of cold water (more or less depending on how strong you like your lemonade). If you are using sparkling water don’t add it until you are ready to serve so that it doesn’t lose its fizz. Add the vodka now as well if using. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Pour lemonade over ice filled glasses, top with a slice of lemon, and garnish with a sprig of mint.
  9. variations
  10. You can also steep the syrup with mint or basil in the hot syrup for a different variation.
  11. The honey ginger syrup is also great for sweetening iced tea and other beverages.

In celebration of Earth Day today please join me and a group of friends and fellow bloggers on a Virtual Picnic for the Planet.  We are sharing some of our favorite warm weather picnic recipes as part of The Nature Conservancy Picnic for the Planet, a celebration of the Earth, the food it provides and the importance of making meaningful choices that are healthy for us and good for the planet.  For more information about Picnic for the Planet please visit http://earthday.nature.org/picnic.

Be sure to check out the entire Virtual Picnic Menu below:

Simple Bites | Pressed Sandwiches
My Baking Addiction | Mixed Berry Cheesecakes in a Jar
Bluebonnets & Brownies | Nanny’s Potato Salad
Dine & Dish | Sangria
Add A Pinch | Herbed Tortellini Salad
Bakers Royale | Fruit Recipe Roundup
Three Many Cooks | Black and White Caviar
Food for My Family | Homemade Potato Chips and Avocado Ranch Dip
Sugarcrafter | Apple Hand Pies
Tickled Red | Tangy Potato Salad
What’s Cooking with Kids | Kale Chips
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Mini Lemonade Cakes
TidyMom | Picnic Pies in a Jar


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  1. says

    This is a really lovely post. Your photos are breathtaking and your recipe sounds delicious. I’m relatively new to your blog and don’t often comment. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy my visits here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  2. says

    Oh how I would have loved to have been a part of your picnic! It all looks delish, especially your lemonade. I love the flavor combo.

  3. says

    My favorite things to take to a picnic are probably muffins I’d say! Easy to transport, easy to eat and yummy. I have had a similar drink at the spa- cold when I entered and a hot version on the way out!

  4. says

    Sylvie, you always manage to make my jaw drop. What gorgeous lemonade, and I love the ginger (and suggestion of vodka!) – absolutely the perfect drink for enjoying this sunny (but sometimes crisp) spring weather.

  5. says

    Oh, Sylvie, I so look forward to your posts – the writing is so inviting, the photos stunning and the food leaves me craving more.

    The pics are so beautiful! Love the styling as well.

  6. says

    Loving seeing what you have all put together for this virtual picnic. Such a great idea! Your honey ginger lemonade looks wonderful :)

  7. says

    We had perfect picnic weather for a two weeks here in Texas before there was a random hail storm followed by hot humid muggy weather. -_-

    I’ll be enjoying this wonderful lemonade right when I return because I freaking LOVE ginger. I know this is redudant but seriously, your photography is AHMAZING. I am in love with the first shot.

    have a great weekend Sylvie!

  8. says

    I typed this huge comment saying how much I loved the drink and the ginger flavor is my all time fav and then the window clossed… gggrrr !! technology !!
    Me now going over to see the other links you shared :)

  9. says

    So I first drooled over the top photo, and then as I continued down, I drooled some more…and now…well now I just want a hot day so I can be lazy and also enjoy a delicious sip of your honey ginger lemonade!

  10. says

    Oh I love picnics and probably my favorite thing to take is homemade chocolate bars. My friend’s kids love it. I love it. And kids give me a love hug for each bar I give 😀 Beautiful pictures Sylvie! And you know my love for ginger right?

  11. says

    Beautiful post, Sylvie. I think I’m going to make a point of taking more time out for picnics this summer.You are right – it is an pleasure that helps us slow down our busy days.

    Happy Earth Day!

  12. says

    Sylvie, There’s a little shack in Kauai were we always order the ginger lemonade (when we happen to be in Kauai, that is.) It is SO potent, but so refreshing. I don’t know why it has never occurred to me to make it myself. Thanks dear!

  13. says

    Ohhh ginger, how I love thee. Sounds so refreshing! Sylvie, the photos and the styling: no words. (Other than stunning, as always!) Also love that this could be served hot or cold. The basil variation sounds esp nice for summer!

  14. says

    This lemonade looks so beautiful.I really love the first picture and the way u ve placed fresh ginger shoot.We used to have frequent picnics back in India with family.Not so much here.Here picnics have been replaced by long drives :) My fav thing to take along is butter popcorn.Love them.

  15. says

    I’m so happy to see your honey ginger syrup. It captures the qualities of the store-bought jar I bought (since its key component is honey) but I’M CERTAIN that this is 100% better. As soon as I run out of mine, I’ll be making yours. Thank you for sharing with us.

  16. says

    Such beautiful photos! I also made lemonade this week, with mint, even though it’s not hot at all here [sigh]. It tasted great but my photos don’t look anything like yours :-). Thanks for the inspiration!
    p.s. I’m off to check out that picnic for the planet link

  17. says

    I love these virtual get-togethers you keep having. What a fun idea to bring blogger friends together across great distances. This ginger honey lemonade looks great and actually would be pretty good for the cold/cough I have now!

  18. says

    As soon as I saw the title for this, I thought “Throw in some vodka and i’m a happy man!” Then I saw it listed… and I was a very happy man.

    A beautiful post, a beautiful cause.

    Happy Earth Day (which, really, is every day)

  19. says

    Your lemonade looks lovely and no doubt tastes wonderful too with or without vodka! This So. Cal weather we have been having has been so crazy and unpredictable, but I also enjoy a nice glass of lemonade on a warm day. I also found a recipe for strawberry basil lemonade that looks refreshing too. Your virtual picnic sounds like a lot of fun!

  20. says

    beautiful Sylvie – yes, picnics are a true luxury and one we don’t indulge in nearly enough . . . adding vodka for a cocktail is spot on – i’d like to have one of these when it’s about 80 degrees outside!

  21. says

    This is very cool. I made something similar this week but I think your way is easier. I made candied ginger in syrup with added honey and then put some of that in the lemonade. Either way it’s a wonderful combination. Your photography is fantastic. I’m so envious.

  22. says

    Really, Sylvie, your presentations are divine. Not to say the lemonade isn’t, but I really MUST serve it in those glasses with the burlap and raffia!

  23. says

    I love the combination of fresh flavors in this recipe – not to mention the kick from the vodka. 😉 This is indeed the perfect drink for a sunny day on the porch. Gorgeous photos, Sylvie!

  24. says

    Hi Sylvie-Such a great idea to have a virtual picnic for Earth Day:)Your lemonade is refreshing and I need to have a glass every day here in Florida:)Your last photo is so cool!!

  25. says

    I could sip on this refreshing thing all day long.., lazying around in my backyard. I love it that you used ginger. and joyful sunshine photographs Sylvie…love the brown paper underneath.

  26. says

    Ah indulgence! We love picnics and always pack the same thing: roasted chicken, cheese, bread, fruit, maybe tiny radishes and always ripe tomatoes. And wine. But this lemonade would be perfect and turn it into a special meal!

  27. says

    Today was the kind of day in San Diego where summer definitely made an appearance – it was HOT and I would have loved a cool glass of this lemonade. I am just loving the way you styled these photos, especially the burlap and the raffia/twine around the glasses, so beautiful and unique!

  28. says

    Sylvie, I think this looks incredible and refreshing, but I have to say, the photos are possibly my favourite of yours yet, and that says a lot since I adore all of your photos! I particularly love the trio over black–stunning and inspirational. You amaze me!

  29. says

    I have found the recipe for the piece of left-over ginger in my refrigerator. Thanks for the recipe, it sounds wonderfully refreshing. I am still waiting to feel some real warmth of the sun this year.


  30. says

    This sounds like everything I loved wrapped into one perfect cocktail! I’m hoping its sunny this weekend so I can test some out while lounging at the park :) Great photos!

  31. says

    Thank you for this nice idea … Here in Cannes, France, the weather is already very hot and your lemonade will be perfect for my next picnic … on Friday ! I love the idea of a “Picnic for the Earth” … Of course, I missed it in April but I keep this in mind for next year .
    Have a nice day

  32. says

    I made this to take to a dinner party tonight and it was super delicious, thank you so much! My two year old even preferred it over apple juice! I didn’t have any fresh ginger, so I used a Tbls of powdered. Next time I make this though, I’ll try to have real ginger in hand!

  33. says

    I have aan lemon agave nectar syrup that I use in a very similar way. However, I have been reading a lot about raw honey lately and think it would be interesting to try it with your recipe. We’ll see how it goes. Beautiful shot BTW.

  34. says

    I now have everything to make this lemonade and I re-printed the recipe. You’re right! I don’t have to add vodka. Photographs are still look great second time around.

  35. Cristina says

    What a beautiful drink, Sylvie! All the ingredients are so inviting: honey, ginger, lemon and don’t forget that vodka. :)