Strawberry Basil Lemonade takes homemade lemonade up a notch with the addition of sweet strawberry basil syrup. It's the perfect balance of tart, sweet, and fruit flavors all in one.
Strawberry Basil Lemonade Recipe:
This recipe sounds complicated, since everything is made from scratch. It's not complicated at all, and the end results are so good.
You'll be glad you took the extra steps to make homemade strawberry syrup and lemonade.
The strawberry syrup can be adjusted to the perfect sweetness based on your tastes, and that helps to adjust the tartness of the lemonade, too.
This lemonade is great for serving at brunch, wedding showers, baby showers, barbecues, and picnics.
How to Make Strawberry Basil Lemonade:
- Place the strawberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Use a spoon to break apart the strawberries as they soften.
- Remove from heat, and allow the mixture to cool until it's safe to place in a blender.
- Transfer the cooled strawberry mixture to a blender, and add the fresh basil.
- Process until smooth.
- Optional: Pour the strawberry syrup through a mesh sieve to remove the thick, pulpy parts.
- Add ice, remaining water, lemon juice, and strawberry basil syrup to a large drink pitcher. Stir to combine.
Strawberry Basil Lemonade Tips and Variations:
- Lemonade: I make the lemonade with using about 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 to 5 cups of water (some of this is used in the strawberry syrup), and granulated sugar (this is used in the syrup, too). If you'd like to shortcut this, purchase a can of lemonade concentrate and follow the directions on can. The concentrate is usually sweetened, so you likely won't need the sugar to cook down the strawberries. Premade lemonade can also be used.
- Strawberries: Taste the strawberries before you begin. If they're super sweet, you may want to reduce the sugar a tad. If they're more on the bitter side, you may need to increase the sugar a bit. Keep in mind that the syrup is what will sweeten the lemonade, so you don't want to reduce it too much.
- Basil: Go with fresh basil! If you'd like to lessen or omit the basil, the lemonade will taste great as strawberry lemonade.
- Don't Strain the Syrup: As you can see in the photos and in the instructions, I strained the strawberry basil syrup to remove some of the thicker parts. It's just something I do, because I'm not a fan of thick drinks that need to be stirred a lot when the most flavorful part sinks to the bottom. That being said, this is totally optional, because the syrup IS super flavorful. You will lose some of that awesome strawberry basil taste if you strain it.
- Frozen: Frozen strawberries will work for this recipe in case you happen to have some in the freezer or can't find fresh.
- Make Popsicles!: If you happen to have leftovers or would rather have popsicles, pour the lemonade into popsicle molds and let it freeze for several hours. You'll have some awesome popsicles.
- Make It Boozy!: Add your favorite rum, vodka, tequila, limoncello, or gin for the ultimate adult Summer drink!
Room Temperature: We do not recommend storing strawberry lemonade at room temperature.
Refrigerator: Store the lemonade in the refrigerator and discard after about 8 hours.
Freezer: This lemonade makes great popsicles or flavored ice cubes!
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 4 to 5 cup(s) water, divided
- 3 cup(s) strawberries, fresh, hulled
- 1 ½ cup(s) granulated sugar
- ½ cup(s) basil, fresh, loosely packed
- 1 ½ cup(s) lemon juice, freshly juiced
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 ½ cups of water, strawberries, and sugar over medium heat. Stir for several minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved, and gently break the strawberries as they soften. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it's safe to transfer to a blender.3 cup(s) strawberries1 ½ cup(s) granulated sugar
- Pour the strawberry mixture into a blender, and add the fresh basil. Process until smooth.½ cup(s) basil
- Optional: Pour the mixture through a mesh sieve to remove the thick, pulpy parts.
- Add the remaining 3 ½ cups water, lemon juice, and strawberry basil syrup to a large pitcher. Stir to combine.1 ½ cup(s) lemon juice
- Serve in individual glasses over ice with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.