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Lemonade with a Twist: Strawberry Basil Refresher

Homemade lemonade is always a treat. Paired with strawberries and basil, it doesn’t really get more refreshing than this unique blend of flavors. This update on a beloved classic is a must-try. Sip it by the pool, on the beach, while picnicking. It’s a delightfully sweet drink that’s paired best with relaxation.

Making your own lemonade doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Like we said, it’s all about relaxing. If you don’t feel like fussing, pick up some freshly squeezed lemon juice at the grocery store to blend with the rest of these ingredients. If you’re a purist, you can squeeze the lemon juice yourself. You’ll need about 14 lemons– make sure to strain out seeds and pulp before you mix the juice in with everything else!

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Ingredients:

For the strawberry-basil syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled,and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 3/4 cup tightly packed basil leaves (fresh from the garden if possible!)

For the lemonade:

  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 cups lemon juice, chilled
  • Ice

For the garnish:

  • 1/2 pound strawberries, washed, hulled,and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Next add the strawberries and lower the heat to medium low. Allow mixture to simmer until the strawberries have softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from the heat, add the basil leaves, and stir. Let the mixture cool for about 45 minutes.
  4. Using a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, strain the syrup and throw away any solids. Cover it and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Once the syrup has cooled in the fridge and you’re ready to make lemonade, combine water, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups of the strawberry-basil syrup in a punch bowl or pitcher.
  6. Adjust the recipe to your tastes. Add more strawberry-basil syrup as needed.
  7. Throw in some ice and garnish with the sliced strawberries and basil leaves.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Chow.com.

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