Back-to-school items may be hitting store shelves in full force but we’re still basking in joy of summer. And nothing says summer like strawberries and basil, right!?!? If you’re a lover of either of these two ingredients you’ll want to be sure to try this lemonade infused recipe. (And if you don’t like lemonade, we highly recommend you give the infusions a try with sparkling water. YUM x 10!)
Now, you can rock your inner Martha Stewart and make homemade lemonade (recipe below) but we all know sometimes life gives you lemons and you simply don’t have the energy to make lemonade! In which case I highly encourage you to dash to your local grocery store and pick up the ready made stuff and follow these steps with precision:
1. Poor lemonade into a pitcher and hide the container.
2. Puree the strawberries that are about to go bad in your fridge to make about 1 cup. (Frozen works just as well. Just remember to grab them before you leave the store with your lemonade.) Add the strawberry puree to your lemonade.
3. Go out to your herb garden (or your neighbor’s – with permission, of course! …or the store…) and snip 15-25 basil leaves. Chiffonade the basil leaves. (I know, another fancy schmancy term that Chef Dawn taught me. It’s really easy, see how it’s done here: How to chiffonade.) Add the basil to the pitcher and let steep overnight.
4. BAM! You’r done! Now wipe the sweat off your brow, put your feet up and, if needed, add a touch of vodka to that lemonade and enjoy!
A note from Chef Dawn about pruning your basil plant: be sure to take some old leaves as well as new because the new leaves have the most flavor. She also had some handy dandy tips for me on how to prune my plant so it doesn’t get to0 “stalky.” Here’s a great video to show you what she showed me: How to prune basil.
Homemade Lemonade1 cup lemon juice (about 8-12 lemons) 2 cups basil infused simple syrup (recipe below) 3 cups water 2-4 cups ice 1 cup strawberry puree (about 1/2 pint)
Combine lemon juice, basil infused simple syrup, water, ice and strawberry puree. Stir and serve.Basil Infused Simple Syrup 1 cup of sugar 2 cups water 15-25 basil leaves chiffonade Combine sugar and water in saucepan and heat over medium-high until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add basil. Steep for 1 hour or more, depending on flavor desired. Strain basil before adding simple syrup to lemonade.