Refreshing Strawberry Basil Lemonade
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Ultra refreshing homemade strawberry basil lemonade. Make your own simple syrup and blend it together with freshly squeezed lemons, sweet strawberries, and herby basil to make a pitcher full of sunshine!
I got a, I got a pitcher full of sunshine. I got a, I got a glass that is all mine…
Did you sing it to the tune of Pocketful of Sunshine? Natasha would be proud.
It’s the week of the 4th! How is it already July, y’all? The weather has been either hot and humid or super gross and rainy. And I’m celebrating this super short week with a pitcherful of our favorite summer treat – strawberry basil lemonade.
I’ve been making strawberry lemonade at home for years. But up until recently, I hadn’t tried it with a handful of basil, and once I did, there was no turning back. It’s simple, cool, and refreshing!
We had our first taste of strawberry basil lemonade a couple of years ago when we went to Maui for a quick vacation. The weather was gorgeous, and Maui has a little lemonade store that is making some of the yummiest lemonade I’ve ever tasted! If you’ve been, do you know the place I’m talking about? It’s called Wow Wow Lemonade. I recently found out that they have a bunch of locations all around the United States, but unfortunately none in Texas just yet. Until then, I’ll keep making a batch of strawberry basil lemonade at home.
A cold glass of homemade lemonade is exactly what you need to beat the heat. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up with sweet strawberries, tart lemons, and herby, fresh basil. If you’re lucky enough to have basil thriving in your backyard the way my parents do, this is a great new way to use it up. Other ways: make all the basil pesto (freeze some) and eat the rest with fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes. Summer produces makes my heart happy.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE STRAWBERRY BASIL LEMONADE:
- lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
- sea salt
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE STRAWBERRIES, WHAT ELSE CAN I USE?
If strawberries aren’t your thing, you can replace them with:
HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP FOR STRAWBERRY BASIL LEMONADE:
In a small saucepan, combine the water with the sugar over medium heat and allow the sugar mixture to come to a simmer. It’ll take you in the ballpark of 6-9 minutes approximately. Turn off the stove, remove from heat and let cool completely.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE CAN I MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP?
You can make the simple syrup up to three weeks in advance. I suggest storing it in a glass container that has a tight-fitting lid, in the refrigerator. That way it’s ready to go, and you can throw a batch of homemade lemonade together super quickly.
WILL STORE-BOUGHT SIMPLE SYRUP WORK FOR THIS STRAWBERRY BASIL LEMONADE RECIPE?
Yes, absolutely! When I was recipe testing, I made this with homemade simple syrup and store-bought simple syrup. With store-bought simple syrup, I found that you sometimes needed a tad bit more (so 2 ¼ – 2 ½ cups prepared syrup.) However, how sweet you made your lemonade is entirely up to you! You could even start with ½ the prepared simple syrup (homemade or store-bought) and adjust as desired.
- 6 ¼ cups water, divided
- 1 ¼ cups sugar (or 1 ¾ cups prepared sugar syrup)
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled then quartered (plus more to decorate)
- 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus lemon slices to decorate)
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt (optional but so good)
- 6-8 torn basil leaves (plus more for serving)
- SIMPLE SYRUP: In a small saucepan combine 1¼ cups of water with the sugar over medium heat and allow the sugar mixture to come to a simmer, about 6-9 minutes approximately. Turn off the stove, remove from heat and let cool completely.
- BLEND: Once the simple syrup cools, blend the strawberries, prepared simple syrup, and the torn basil leaves in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the remaining 5 cups of water, lemon juice, salt, and blend once again.
- STRAIN: This is optional, but for a smoother lemonade, strain the strawberry lemonade through a sieve as you pour it into a pitcher (filled with lots of ice) Stir and add additional lemon slices/ quartered strawberries, and whole basil leaves to infuse it further. The lemonade is a bit concentrated (in terms of sweetness) so once you add lots of ice, it should be well balanced!
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