This easy recipe for cherry blossom lemonade captures the essence of the sakura in a refreshing drink: delicate, subtly fragrant and with a lovely pink color. And you can also make it sugar-free!
Inspired by this sakura lemonade from Matcha Oishii’s website, this delicate drink combines the elegance of cherry blossom with a hint of tartness from the lemon.
The result is a light and refreshing, alcohol-free beverage that tastes like springtime in a glass. And with less than 20 calories per serving! (if using sugar-free sweetener; of course, you can also make this recipe with regular sugar)
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Reasons to love this recipe
What is cherry blossom lemonade?
Cherry blossom lemonade or sakura lemonade is the combination of cherry blossom (sakura) and lemon.
The cherry blossom, or sakura, is a symbol of springtime in Japan and a sort of national symbol of the country.
Sakura blossoms are delicate and have a subtle but sweet fragrance.
While some varieties of sakura flowers are edible, they aren’t the most common ingredient even in Japanese cuisine.
However, in last years sakura is enjoying more and more popularity, so you may find food-grade sakura blossoms or powder online.
To make cherry blossom lemonade, you only have to mix some cherry blossom (sakura) powder with lemonade.
What does cherry blossom lemonade taste like?
Everybody already knows how lemonade taste, so let’s focus on the sakura flavor.
Cherry blossoms have a very delicate and subtle fragrance, which is not easy to describe.
If you’ve ever smelled cherry blossoms, you may have noticed that they barely smell, but they still have a pleasant aroma.
And drinks with sakura powder honor this characteristic: they are very delicate, with a hint of sweetness.
It doesn’t exactly taste like cherries, but sometimes you may find a slight resemblance in the aftertaste.
When combined with lemon juice, as in this recipe, the drink becomes refreshing while still keeping that light and fine sakura flavor.
How to make sakura lemonade sugar-free
You may use regular sugar for this recipe, but if your sakura powder is sugar-free, you might as well make a sugar-free cherry blossom lemonade.
To do so, I like using xylitol or erythritol, as they taste very neutral so they don’t interfere with the delicate flavor of cherry blossoms.
You can find xylitol and erythritol in most health food stores, but if you can’t find them, you may use any other sugar-free sweetener of your choice.
You could also use stevia, but I find that it has a stronger flavor that may not be to everyone’s taste.
How to make cherry blossom lemonade
This cherry blossom lemonade recipe is very easy and quick to make.
You only need 4 ingredients:
- cherry blossom powder
- water (or sparkling water)
- lemon juice
- sweetener of choice (I use xylitol or erythritol, but you can use sugar or homemade simple syrup) – feel free to adapt the amount of sweetener or even skip it altogether is using sweetened sakura powder
Basically, you just make a concentrated sakura lemonade syrup (don’t worry, it’s easy and there’s no cooking needed) and then add ice and water.
Where to buy sakura powder and alternatives
Sakura is very seasonal, so it might be quite challenging to find it when it’s not spring.
But fortunately, while sakura powder isn’t a hugely popular ingredient (even in Japan), you will probably be able to find it online.
In my experience, this sakura powder and this more pale sakura powder are usually available.
And if you don’t have powdered cherry blossom, sakura jam may be a good alternative.
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to make cherry blossom lemonade
- Make a cherry blossom simple syrup
Start by warming a little amount of water. Pour it over the cherry blossoms powder and the sweetener for your choice.
Stir with a spoon to dissolve.
You may also use simple syrup instead of granulated sweetener.
- Make it a (concentrated) lemonade
Add a tablespoon lemon juice.
- Fill the glass
Pour water and some ice cubes until your glass is full.
Feel free to use sparkling water if you’d like your lemonade fizzy.
- As with any kind of lemonade, you may substitute fresh squeezed lemon use for frozen lemon juice.
- Adapt the sourness and sweetness to your taste – I personally prefer this recipe subtle, almost as a refreshing flavored water, but you may add more lemon juice or sweetener if you prefer.
- Make cherry blossom syrup before mixing it with the rest of liquids – sakura powder usually dissolves much easier if you site it with a little amount of warm or hot water first. Since sugar or other powdered sweeteners also dissolve much better in warm water, I find it’s best to make a sugar syrup with cherry blossoms first and then add the rest of the liquids.
- If you like sparkling lemonades, you may use sparkling water.
How to make cherry blossom lemonade like in Wagamama
I’ve been asked for the Wagamama’s cherry blossom lemonade recipe, but unfortunately, we don’t have this chain in the land I live, so I can’t say if my lemonade tastes like Wagamama’s.
According to Wagamama’s menu, their cherry blossom lemonade (which is under wonderful category name of “Mindful drinks”) has:
- Cherry blossom
- Cloudy lemon syrup
- Sparkling water
- Dried rose petals decoration
So, from this description (and from what I see in the pictures found in social media posts), I can imagine that you might get a similar drink if you follow my recipe, making sure that:
- you use sparkling water
- sprinkle some rose petals on top
Personally, I don’t like fizzy drinks, but I promise, if I ever have the occasion of visiting a Wagamama shop, I’ll try this lemonade!
Meanwhile, if you know Wagamama cherry blossom’s taste and these tips give similar results, please let me know in the comments!
Common questions about cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms don’t taste exactly like cherries, so while you may make lemonade with cherries and it will taste good, it won’t taste like this recipe.
This will depend on the sakura powder you use.
Cherry blossoms have a beautiful pink color, but there are a LOT of different shades of sakura pink, some of them almost white.
The sakura powder I used for the pictures in this post has a very vibrant pink hue (which I love), but depending on the brand you get, it might have another color.
Take as an example Wagamama’s cherry blossom lemonade: as long as I can see from pictures, it looks quite pale.
And of course, the final color will also depend on the concentration of sakura powder you use.
Cherry blossoms lemonade recipe
- 1 teaspoon Sakura powder
- 1 teaspoon Erythritol (or sugar or sweetener of choice)
- 50 ml. Water 3-4 Tablespoons
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
- Water (or sparkling water)
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Heat a small amount of water and when it’s warm or hot, dissolve the sakura powder and sweetener in it.
- Add the lemon juice (you may add frozen lemon juice instead)
- Pour the rest of the water to fill the glass
I hope you enjoy this sakura lemonade as much as I do!
And if you are in the mood, check here for more sakura inspired drinks!