Once you turn 21, it can be tricky figuring out which drinks you actually enjoy. Cheap beer and boxed wine are a good introduction to the world of alcohol (okay, maybe not a good introduction, but an introduction nonetheless). But when you finally have the budget to sample higher quality drinks, the number of cocktails available is overwhelming. Enter: hard lemonade. Hard lemonade is your favorite childhood drink, but with a few mixers added in. Think of hard lemonade as mimosa’s cousin. These hard lemonade recipes are fairly cheap to make, and you can use almost any alcohol you have on hand. So skip the PBR the next time your friends come over, and try out one of the following hard lemonade recipes instead.

1. Sparking Spiked Peach Lemonade

lemon, ice, cocktail, peach, mint, strawberries, Sangria
Carolyne Su

Take advantage of those ripe, juicy peaches while they're in season. This recipe shares a hack for how to peel peaches quickly, which makes whipping up a batch of this hard lemonade even easier. 

2. Pink Lemonade Mojito

vegetable, tomato, pepper, juice
Greer Hackett

Although strawberries are sold year-round, their peak season is April through June. So take a Saturday afternoon off and drive to your local pick-your-own strawberry patch. While most recipes use heat to make the strawberry purée, this one keeps it simple with a spoon and your willpower.

3. Boozy Mint Lemonade

Nettle Tea Mojitos (mocktails) photo by Alison Marras (@foodbymars) on Unsplash

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You can make the lemon mint syrup for this lemonade ahead of time and mix the final drink before your friends come over. Don't be discouraged by the slightly longer ingredients list on this recipe—you probably have most of this stuff in your pantry already. 

4. Sangria Lemonade

Detox water photo by Monika Grabkowska (@moniqa) on Unsplash

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The name of this recipe tells you everything you need to know! Sangria + lemonade = the perfect drink for brunch. All you need is lemonade, rum, wine, and a few of your favorite fruits. Melons, berries, and peaches will be in season during the summer, so feel free to pick a few of those and throw them in to add some color.

5. Watermelon Mint Lemonade

Strawberry Mojito photo by Neha Deshmukh (@nehadeshmukh) on Unsplash

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Still have some watermelon left over after that Sunday cookout? This hard lemonade recipe is the perfect way to use it up. The cucumber slices in this lemonade makes it even more refreshing, and the mint adds a welcome contrast to the sweet watermelon.

6. Cherry Limeade Slushie

Juice, smoothie, fruit and lemon HD photo by Alex Loup (@alexloup) on Unsplash

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Technically this recipe is for limeade, not lemonade. But really, who can tell the difference? To cut down on the prep time for this recipe, pit the cherries with a straw or pastry tip. 

7. Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade

Spring Party Punch photo by Brooke Lark (@brookelark) on Unsplash

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I remember going blackberry picking as a child and coming home with deep purple stains on my hands. This recipe will take those nostalgic memories and feed them back to you in a glass of lemonade.

8. Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade

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Want to feel a little more fancy? This hard lemonade recipe uses elderflower liqueur, which is made from a dainty, white flower that blooms in the spring and summer in Europe. Adding a bit of the liqueur adds some warm floral notes to the lemonade and will definitely impress your friends. 

9. Jack Daniel's Lynchburg Lemonade

Rum and Citrus Splash photo by Marc Babin (@westingrandcayman) on Unsplash

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This recipe comes straight from the Jack Daniel's site. Fun fact: it's named after Lynchburg, Tennessee, the home of the famous whiskey distillery. It's so good there was even a court case over who was the true creator of the drink.

10. Shandy

If all else fails, make a shandy. Perhaps the easiest drink on this list, all you need is some beer and lemonade. A Pilsner or a light IPA is ideal for a shandy, as they won't overpower the lemonade. 

There are so many ways to switch up the flavor of hard lemonade, whether you choose to add in different kinds of fruits, mix-ins, or alcohol. Serve these easy hard lemonade recipes in a pitcher or mason jars for the prettiest effect. But no matter what you enjoy these hard lemonades in they'll keep you cool and refreshed!