Anyone else feel like summer is fading way too fast? I haven’t even made it to the beach yet… but that will all be changing on Sunday! I bought a new beach umbrella, beach towels, one of those insulated Corkcicle canteens to keep my drinks cold and a bunch of food magazines I’m way behind on reading. I wanted a great beach sipper to bring my Santa Monica trip with the hubs, so I created a fruity drink that has summer written all over it: Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Lemonade is sweet, tart and totally refreshing, but with the addition of strawberries and basil, your taste buds will be extra excited. This summer beverage also reminds me so much of childhood. Anyone else have a lemonade stand and try to sell sips to your neighbors when you were a kid? I did, and I took it next level. I would ride around on a golf cart and speak into one of those mobile microphones and call out anyone who would listen. “Get your homemade lemonade! Only 25 cents a glass!” I actually sold a lot.
It’s hard to pass up the crazy deals on strawberries when they’re going for only a few dollars at the store - especially when they are in the season. The red, sweet berries are great in smoothies and on their own, but when simmered with sugar and water, create an incredible fruity syrup. If you have extra strawberries and don’t know what to do with them, make strawberry simple syrup! It’s perfect for this Strawberry Basil Lemonade and great in cocktails, too.
The basil part is optional, but I think it works so well with the flavors, plus it looks awesome if you’re serving it in a clear pitcher for guests to see. If you tend to like lighter drinks and worried this drink may be too “heavy” for you, then cut it with half soda water. And you could also add a shot of vodka ;)
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and stay cool with my refreshing Strawberry Basil Lemonade!
Strawberry Basil Lemonade
(makes 1 quart lemonade)
1 & 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 pounds or 9-10 lemons)
2 & 3/4 cups cold water
*1 – 1 & 1/4 cup strawberry simple syrup (1 cup for more tart or add more for sweeter)
6 - 7 basil leaves
Strawberry Simple Syrup:
12 strawberries (sliced in half)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
*Bring water, sugar and strawberries (tops removed) to a boil, then let simmer on low until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and remove from stove. Gently muddle strawberries to release juices. Let cool for 15-20 minutes, then strain with a sieve. Keep cold in an airtight container for up to one week.
Mix together lemon juice, water and strawberry simple syrup in a pitcher. Add basil leaves and let the flavors sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Serve over ice and enjoy!