fresh strawberries and basil make this rosy-hued lemonade a sophisticated, grown up version of the summertime favorite. this ice cold lemonade is great alone, and even better when incorporated into a boozy cocktail. the strawberry basil syrup would make a stellar martini, margarita, or even a mojito, but is perfect with the lemonade on its own. serve extra chilled.
for the strawberry-basil syrup:
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 pound (or package) strawberries, washed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
For the lemonade:
- 6 cups cold water
- 3 cups lemon juice, chilled (bottled lemon juice works, and takes approx. 20 lemons if squeezing yourself)
- 1/2 pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced 1/2-inch thick, for garnish
- 1/4 cup tightly packed, blemish-free basil leaves, for garnish.
- for the strawberry-basil syrup:
- Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Add strawberries, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until strawberries have softened, about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add basil leaves, and stir to incorporate. Cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl; discard solids. Cover syrup and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the lemonade:
Pour water, lemon juice, and reserved strawberry-basil syrup into a 3-quart pitcher or punch bowl and stir to combine. Add ice and garnish with sliced strawberries and basil leaves. Chill for as long as you can wait before serving.
don't forget to add as much water as needed to tweak taste if preferred.
you can also add booze (vodka is good w/ this lemonade) to make a yummy cocktail.