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Fresh strawberries and basil turn the drink kids love to make and sell into a sophisticated booze-free refreshment. Add plenty of ice or use an ice ring to keep it cold. Bottled lemon juice works fine, but if you can find fresh squeezed, or have the gumption to squeeze it yourself, it'll be that much tastier; you'll need about 10-20 lemons, depending on how juicy they are. From Chowhound's Nonalcoholic Summer Sippers.
For the strawberry-basil syrup
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 1⁄2 lbs strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
For the lemonade
- 6 cups water, cold
- 3 cups lemon juice, chilled
- 1⁄2 lb strawberry, washed, hulled, and sliced 1/2-inch thick, for garnish
- 1⁄4 cup basil leaves, tightly packed, blemish-free, 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 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. Taste, and adjust water/ice if too strong or sweet for you.