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Do you love Sonic’s iconic cherry limeade? This easy homemade copycat recipe for a Sonic Cherry Limeade is bound to be a favorite! With only 4 ingredients it’s so simple to make this drink at home.

This drink recipe in a glass mason jar topped with cherry and lime wedge.

Easy Copycat Recipe For Cherry Limeade

Cool off this summer, and save some money too, and make these copycat Sonic cherry limeades at home. All it takes is fresh lime juice, lime wedges, maraschino cherries + maraschino juice from the jar, and carbonated lemon & lime soda.

A glass pitcher of this drink recipe

Ingredients Needed To Make It

  • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice – The #1 rule for making this drink at home is to use fresh squeezed lime juice and not bottled lime juice. Don’t even try using bottled lime juice 😉
  • Maraschino Cherry Juice – Use the juice from the jar of maraschino cherries.
  • Maraschino Cherries – Reserve the juice when you drain these.
  • Sprite or 7-up – You need a carbonated lemon lime soda for this drink recipe. You can also use a lime sparkling water if wanted. Like Bubbly or San Pellegrino. The drink won’t be quite as sweet but it’s a “healthier” option if wanted.
Labeled ingredients

How To Make a Sonic Cherry Limeade (Copycat Recipe)

  1. Fill a pitcher halfway with ice. For a true Sonic experience, use pebble ice. Alternately, you can skip the ice and instead make the drink in the pitcher and fill each cup with some ice. If the drink is sitting out for awhile, I recommend not adding the ice into the pitcher because it will water down the drink.
  2. Add the fresh lime juice and lime wedges into the pitcher.
  3. Add the cherry juice and cherries into the pitcher.
  4. Pour the sprite or 7-up into the pitcher. Stir gently to mix everything together.
  5. Garnish the pitcher with additional lime slices if wanted. Serve!
Process photos for how to make this drink recipe
Process photos for how to make this drink recipe
Process photos for how to make this drink recipe

FAQ’s + Expert Tips

  • Chilled Ingredients – To make sure the drink is cold and ready to serve, put all the ingredients into the fridge before making it to make sure they’re completely chilled. Not the limes. Place the Sprite and jar of maraschino cherries into the fridge. Use the chilled ingredients to make the cherry limeade.
  • Ice Tip – If you’re not planning on drinking this fairly quickly, I recommend leaving the ice out of the pitcher of cherry limeade. If the ice sits there too long, it will melt, which will water down the drink. For best results, I would put some ice in each cup while serving it. Or let guests/family, place their own ice (if wanted) into the cup before pouring the cherry limeade in.
  • Crushed Ice : For the best copycat experience, use crushed ice for this cherry limeade. You can buy a bag of crushed ice from Sonic or some grocery stores.
  • Can I Make It Ahead of Time? : It’s best to make and serve this right away for the best fresh flavor and fizz. However, you can prepare the cherry limeade mixture in advance and keep it refrigerated, but add the Sprite and ice just before serving to maintain the carbonation and fizz.
  • Is This Non-Alcoholic? : Yes, the recipe as is continue no alcohol. If you’d like to make it an adult beverage then please do so responsibly and only if you’re of age. I don’t drink alcohol so I don’t really have any great suggestions but I do know there’s lots of options to add if wanted.
This limeade recipe in a glass jar with some lime in the background.

I only recommend using freshly squeezed lime juice when making cherry limeade. Don’t use bottled lime juice because it won’t taste the same, and it won’t provide that same bright & fresh lime flavor.

A jar of limeade with cherries and lime wedge beside it.
Close up shot of this drink

More Easy Drink Recipes To Try

A glass pitcher of this drink recipe
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Copycat Sonic Cherry Limeade

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Do you love Sonic's iconic cherry limeade? This easy homemade Copycat Cherry Limeade is bound to be a favorite! With only 4 ingredients it's so simple to make this drink at home.


  • 1 cup maraschino cherry juice (from the jar of cherries)
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4-5 large limes)
  • 2 limes (cut into wedges)
  • 4 cups lemon-lime soda (Sprite, 7-up)


  • Prep : Use a strainer, with a bowl below it, to drain the juice from the jar of maraschino cherries. Reserve 1 cup of the cherry juice + the cherries. Cut the limes into wedges.
  • Fill a large glass pitcher with ice. Add in the maraschino cherry juice, maraschino cherries, freshly squeezed lime juice, and lime wedges.
    1 cup maraschino cherry juice, 1 cup maraschino cherries, 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 limes
  • Pour the lemon-lime soda into the glass pitcher. Stir gently to evenly distribute everything.
    4 cups lemon-lime soda
  • Pour some cherry limeade into glass cups (with ice) and garnish the drink with a lime wedge and/or a maraschino cherry.
    * Another option is to omit the ice in the glass pitcher and just make the drink. Then pour the limeade from the glass pitcher into cups filled with ice.


Tips : This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many people you are serving. I recommend only making the amount that you will need because this drink is best served immediately. If you think the drink might sit for a bit, I would recommend not adding ice to the pitcher of cherry limeade. Instead just make the limeade without the ice, and then pour the limeade into cups filled with ice as you need it. 
Soda : You can use zero sugar soda, regular sugar soda, or try using a carbonated lime beverage instead of soda (like Bubbly, la Croix, etc.)
Chilled Ingredients : For best results, put the lemon-lime soda and jar of maraschino cherries into the fridge at least 24 hours in advance of making the drink. 
Cherries : You will need a 16 ounce jar of maraschino cherries to make this recipe. 
Lime Tip : If wanted you can just use the same limes, as what you squeezed the juice from, for the lime wedges in the drink. 

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