Why make regular lemonade when you can add the savory/sweet combination of fresh strawberries and basil?

Homemade lemonade does take a bit of extra work, but it's SO worth it. Especially when you add the savory/sweetness of some fresh strawberries and basil leaves straight from the garden.

I love the strawberry/basil combo. Whether you pair them with some fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar, or in my easy strawberry shortcake recipe, they're two flavors that play so well together.

With strawberries just coming in to season here in Maine (although I did have to visit a nearby farm to pick some because our chickens always eat all our strawberries from our garden), and the days finally warm enough for our basil to thrive, it's the perfect season to mix up a batch of Strawberry Basil Lemonade, so I wanted to share my favorite recipe.

If you've never tried this combo, you're in for a treat! And it's a great way to use all those basil leaves that you pinch throughout the season to keep your basil bushes nice and healthy and from getting leggy.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Makes one pitcher.

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups strawberries, sliced in half
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
Rind from two lemons
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from 6-8 lemons, depending on size)
Whole strawberries and basil leaves for garnish

First you'll need to make some strawberry basil simple syrup.

To make the strawberry basil simple syrup:

Combine water, sugar, strawberries, basil and lemon rind in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for several minutes, then turn off the heat and let the liquid sit until completely cooled. Strain and set aside.

To make the lemonade:

In a large pitcher, combine 2 cups cold water, lemon juice and simple syrup to taste - you might not need it all especially if the strawberries were nice and sweet and ripe. 

Pour into glasses with ice cubes and garnish with additional basil leaves and whole strawberries. 

Serve cold and refrigerate any leftovers

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