Strawberry Basil Lemonade

A twist on the classic lemonade, this pink variety has added summer sweetness from the strawberries, and a hint of spice from the basil.

Makes about 4 cups

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
1/4 cup simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 pint strawberries
4 large basil leaves
2 cups water
pinch of salt
lemon and strawberry slices, basil (for garnish)

1. Make the simple syrup: in a small saucepan, dissolve 1/4 cup sugar into 1/4 cup water. Stirring occasionally over a medium/high heat, bring it to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
2. Clean, hull, and slice the strawberries. Set aside a few of the berries for garnish. Process the remaining strawberries in a blender or food processor to make about 1/2 cup of puree.
3. In a pitcher, muddle the basil leaves with a spoonful of the strawberry puree. (If you donโ€™t have a muddler, the handle end of a wooden kitchen spoon will work too.) Stir in the lemon juice, strawberry puree, water, and salt. Top off with lemon slices, the reserved berries, and extra basil leaves.
4. Wasnโ€™t that easy? Now go drink!

* I donโ€™t mind the seeds, but if you do, pass the strawberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove them before mixing into the lemonade.
* If a classic lemonade is what you desire, you can find my recipe for it here.

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