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Homemade Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade (Recipe & Pictures)

hibiscus lemonade

This article is going to be a slight divergence from our typical coffee-focused fare to bring you a delicious, refreshing summertime recipe for a homemade version of Starbucks’ Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade. Coffee and tea share a similar place in many people’s hearts and, even though we’re big coffee fans, we know that tea-based drinks can be equally delicious.

Recreating the Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade at home is fairly straightforward, although you will need to whip up a batch of simple syrup before you can make one. This guide covers making simple syrup, our favorite recipe for Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade, and some ideas for substitutions if you need to replace some ingredients or want to experiment with different flavors.

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How to Make Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade:

Equipment
  • Small pot or saucepan
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water (for simple syrup)
  • 1 cup sugar (for simple syrup)
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 hibiscus tea bag
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup white grape juice
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  • ¼ cup frozen blackberries

1. Make simple syrup.

Before making the Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade, you need to make a batch of simple syrup. Start by combining 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small pot or saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before removing the syrup from the heat.

2. Make tea and let it cool.

Heat one cup of water to about 175° F and the other to around 205° F.

Brew the green tea bag in the 175° F and the hibiscus tea bag in the 205° F water. Let both steep for between 3 and 5 minutes. Green tea often steeps for less than 3 minutes, but we find that it can easily get lost in the shuffle in a flavorful drink like Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade. The fruit and simple syrup will cover up any bitterness introduced by steeping the green tea for longer.

Allow the tea to cool until it reaches room temperature.

3. Combine and enjoy!

Combine the cooled tea, white grape juice, and simple syrup in a glass over ice. Use enough ice so that some remains after you add the warm ingredients. How much you use depends on how much you let the tea cool. Add frozen blackberries. Then serve and enjoy!

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Variations

There are tons of ways to customize this recipe while still staying close to the Starbucks original recipe. Here are a few of our favorite changes to make.

Lemonade vs. White Grape Juice

One common change people make is using actual lemonade instead of white grape juice. You might think that lemonade would be our first choice, but we find white grape juice provides a stronger flavor and more dryness that gives the drink a more pleasing balance. If you want to get as close to Starbucks’ version as possible, use lemonade. However, we’ve had difficulty finding strong enough store-bought lemonade to stand up to the tea and berries, so consider making your own extra-concentrated lemonade.

Using Different Berries

Feel free to substitute your favorite berries for frozen blackberries. We love how the frozen blackberries combine with the hibiscus and green tea, but using frozen blueberries or raspberries tastes too. If you can’t decide what kind of berries to use, you can’t go wrong with a mixed bag of assorted berries.

Whichever berries you settle on using, make sure to use frozen berries. Using fresh berries won’t help cool the drink, and adding more ice to achieve the same temperature will water it down. Fresh berries will also make the drink less clear and give it a grittier texture. While that will still make for a delicious beverage, we like to keep our Very Berry Lemonade crisp and clear.

mixed berries
Image Credit: Pixabay

Choosing the Right Green Tea

You could use many varieties of green tea in Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade, but we prefer to keep things simple and usually stick with Sencha or Gyokuro. You can use whatever kind of green tea you prefer, and changing up the green tea component is one of the best ways to alter the flavor and give the drink a personal touch.


hibiscus lemonade

Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade Recipe

Recreating the Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade at home is relatively straightforward, although you will need to whip up a batch of simple syrup before you can make one. Here are the steps!
5 star average
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Steep Time 3 mins
Total Time 11 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 drink(s)
Calories 70 kcal

Equipment

  • Small pot or saucepan

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup Water (for simple syrup)
  • 1 cup Sugar (for simple syrup)
  • 1 Green tea bag
  • 1 Hibiscus tea bag
  • 2 cups Water
  • ¼ cup White grape juice
  • 2 tbsps Simple syrup
  • ¼ cup Frozen blackberries

Instructions
 

  • Before making the Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade, you need to make a batch of simple syrup. Start by combining 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small pot or saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before removing the syrup from the heat.
  • Heat one cup of water to about 175° F and the other to around 205° F.
  • Brew the green tea bag in the 175° F and the hibiscus tea bag in the 205° F water. Let both steep for between 3 and 5 minutes. Green tea often steeps for less than 3 minutes, but we find that it can easily get lost in the shuffle in a flavorful drink like Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade. The fruit and simple syrup will cover up any bitterness introduced by steeping the green tea for longer.
  • Allow the tea to cool until it reaches room temperature.
  • Combine the cooled tea, white grape juice, and simple syrup in a glass over ice. Use enough ice so that some remains after you add the warm ingredients. How much you use depends on how much you let the tea cool.
  • Add frozen blackberries.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 70kcal
Keyword hibiscus, Starbucks copycat, very berry hibiscus lemonade

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Final Thoughts

A Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade is the perfect drink to beat the summer heat. It’s crisp and refreshing and packed with an interesting combination of flavors. It’s not too hard to make a version of Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade yourself, and we hope this recipe gives you a head start. We encourage you to experiment with your own variations of this recipe and find what you like best. Using different frozen berries or a different kind of green tea are two of the best ways to customize the recipe and try new, interesting flavor combinations.

SEE ALSO: Definitive Guide to Coffee Pairings


Featured Image Credit: IgorGolovniov, Shutterstock

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Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew. These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

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