Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Strawberry season comes and goes so quickly every year, yet I still have trouble believing we are at the tail end of the 2013 season already. We don’t expect to have homegrown berries much longer in the

country store

, so come and get them while you can. (Please call to verify supply at 618-233-0513.)

In celebration of a bountiful strawberry harvest, I decided to try an adult version of strawberry lemonade, and it was delicious. I used vodka, but you can easily skip it for a more family friendly version of this recipe. The basil in this recipe is not overpowering at all. It simply enhances the fruity flavor. Fresh strawberries and lemons give this drink a tangy deliciousness. And, if that were not enough, the color says it all. You’ll just have to try it!

Eat Well this Spring, Angie

 Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Strawberry Basil Lemonade

2 cups strawberries, hulled and diced, plus extra for garnish (optional)

1 cup, plus 2 Tbs sugar

1 rind from a lemon, carefully remove the yellow from the white pith

1/4 cup fresh, tightly packed basil leaves

1-½ cups fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)

2 cups water

2 cups ice

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries and 2 Tbs sugar. Set aside. 

In a small pot, combine 1 cup water, remaining cup of sugar, lemon rind and basil over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and steep 10 minutes. Strain through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth and allow to cool. Pour into a pitcher.

Add to pitcher, strawberries, lemon juice, 2 cups cold water and 2 cups ice. Serve in glasses over ice, garnished with a strawberry.

Tip:

For an adult version of this drink, substitute 1 cup of water with 1 cup of vodka.