How to Make Fresh, Strawberry-Basil Lemonade

I absolutely love fresh lemonade in the summer! It's so much more satisfying and healthier than drinking a powdered mix. An added bonus is that you can easily make your own without any single-use plastic to toss or recycle. Since I picked up a bunch of strawberries and basil (for Bruschetta, yum) at the Farmers Market this past weekend, I decided to make some Strawberry-Basil lemonade.

Strawberry lemonade is amazing on its own, but the basil cuts down some of that sweetness and adds a really nice flavor. It's safe to say I'm in love with the combo.

What you'll need

  • About 1 cup of fresh, chopped strawberries
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • 8-10 lemons (bonus points for buying without plastic netting)
  • 1 tablespoon of Agave (sub honey or sugar if you'd like)
  • 1.5 cups of filtered water
  • Food processor or blender
  • Small saucepan
  • Strainer
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Clean, large container
  • Juicer (a hand juicer works just fine) 
*yields about 3-4 cups

How to make it

Step 1: Puree (or blend) strawberries, basil leaves, agave, and 1/2 cup of water

Step 2: Bring mixture to a boil in saucepan and let thicken for a few minutes. It should look a bit like syrup but it won't be so thick, especially since you're not using a bunch of sugar.

Step 3: Strain syrup into a bowl first. Make sure to press down on the strainer to get all the goods. Carefully pour the bowl into your clean, large container and set aside.

Step 5: Juice enough of your lemons to yield a cup or more of lemon juice. Pour lemon juice into the container with the strawberry-basil syrup.

Step 7: Here's where you can experiment a bit, depending on your preference for sweetness and/or tartness. I added a cup of filtered water and a bit more agave until it reached the sweetness that I wanted. You can add as much of either as you want.

The nice part about agave is that it dissolves nicely in cold drinks. If you're using honey/sugar you might want to boil more down in your syrup first if you want a really sweet lemonade. 

Step 8: Add any leftover strawberries and a few basil leaves to your finished product for some flare. Pour over ice and serve.



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