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Basil-Infused Strawberry Lemonade

Basil-Infused Strawberry Lemonade

It has been raining. For days. At least six days. I can’t remember back further than that at this point but I’m sure it was raining then too.

Our hopes of a Family Friday Strawberry Picking Adventure tomorrow are doomed. My pile of freshly-picked-strawberry culinary endeavors were put on the backburner before I realized that there was a mudless option right in front of my eyes! Fortunately, the strawberries (and other plants, for that matter) on our deck have been very pleased with the recent weather and have been growing like crazy. The proof: (I left one red berry there, just for you!)

So, housebound and itching for something somewhat summerish (and alcohol-free) to celebrate the beginning of my next year of life, I literally and figuratively made lemonade out of lemons (and deck strawberries. and deck basil). Suffice to say, I’ve never actually made lemonade before. Lemons aren’t necessarily hard to come by in the middle of Eastern Wisconsin, but they’re by no means abundant. I’m a sucker for the not-from-concentrate Simply Lemonade and considered just stirring in some strawberry puree, but couldn’t find a way to infuse an herb into an already prepared product.

End product: Easier than I thought. Tastier than I thought.

Garnished with a strawberry, toothpick, and a basil “hat” for the berry.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups strawberries, pureed

5 lemons, juiced

6 cups water, plus 3/4 cup water (divided)

3/4 cup fine sugar

10 fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried

Assembly:

Bring ¾ cup water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, remove from heat and add basil leaves. Cover and allow basil to infuse for approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove basil and refrigerate syrup for at least 1 hour.

Combine pureed strawberries, lemon juice, and water. Stir well, then add prepared basil syrup. Serve cold. Enjoy!

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