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 don’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. Wasn’t that easy? Now go drink!

* I don’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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