Strawberry Basil Lemonade

After an early Sunday morning of pruning trees in the garden followed by a bike ride to the Farmer’s Market, my thirst buds yearned for relief.

“Strawberry lemonade! Strawberry lemonade! Strawberry lemonade!” screamed my mind (think that had anything to do with the fact that I had just purchased a bunch of berries at the Farmer’s Market?).

Hesitant as I was to use up perfectly sweet, juicy strawberries in a drink–for they are so darn delightful to bite into instead–I listened to that voice in my mind, grabbed a handful of the berries, and pureed them with some of the basil growing in the backyard. You can skip the basil if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, but I enjoyed the sweet surprise it added to the drink.

Add this to the best lip-smacking lemonade recipe and you have a fancy drink that is simplistic to throw together.

Yep, that satisfied the thirst buds. And the concoction came in handy later that night after the hot and sweaty vaudeville act of me and hubby trying to hunt down the second possum of the spring season who decided he rather enjoyed living inside our house–in our bedroom no less! It’s always quite the chore to capture those little guys and relocate them away from the house. I build up quite a sweat and thirst when possum hunting.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large lemon, thinly sliced, ends discarded
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 cups cold water
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice (takes 6-12 lemons, depending on size and juiciness; also, roll lemons on counter to make them juicier)
  • 10-12 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup basil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using a potato masher, mash lemons and sugar in a deep bowl until slices release their juice and sugar begins to dissolve (the oils from the lemon give a boost of flavor to the drink).
  2. Stir in water and lemon juice until sugar completely dissolves. Strain out lemon slices.
  3. In a food processor, purée strawberries and basil. Add to the lemonade.

SOURCE: adapted from America’s Test Kitchen lemonade recipe (www.americastestkitchen.com, also known as www.cooksillustrated.com)

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