summertime strawberry basil lemonade


It feels a bit like summer is over, even if the weather here is still pretty mild. My basil plant is dead — no one was around to take care of it while I was on vacation. Before it bit the dust, I used some to make this Strawberry Basil Lemonade from Kim Haasarud’s 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks. If you start with some store-bought pink lemonade, the recipe is super easy. I decided to make pink lemonade from scratch instead, using this Ina Garten recipe from the Food Network site.



After squeezing up a bunch of lemons, the trick to get the pink color is grenadine. It turned out great — who knew? It looked so good, I had to try some of the pink lemonade, garnished with a maraschino cherry as Ina suggests. I could have drank it all, right then and there.

But my goal was the spiked Strawberry Basil Lemonade. The recipe is simple:

2 quarts pink lemonade
2 pints strawberries (hulled and sliced)
12 basil leaves

Then you let the flavors meld for a couple of hours. The recipe calls for adding 3 cups of citrus-flavored vodka, which I did after putting aside some of the alcohol-free stuff for my daughter.

The end result, garnished with a berry and basil sprig, is a perfect summertime treat. It’s so yummy though, you almost forget about all that vodka, so be careful if you try it at home.


44 thoughts on “summertime strawberry basil lemonade

  1. Oh wow that looks really refreshing and delicious! I'll have to try it out. It reminds me of the peach and strawberry sangria I often make. 🙂

  2. Yummie, this drink is very interesting, never thought in adding basil to a strawberry drink, I'll definitely try since my basil is growing very nice. Love the color of the drink. Great pictures!

  3. Sounds very refreshing. I think I could make this year round. Sorry about the basil dying. I wouls have taken care if it for you, but since I'm on the other coast that would have been a bit of traveling required.

  4. This lemonade looks so good and pretty, too.! Since we still have quite a bit of hot weather to go, before Fall, I will definitely be making this. Love Ina and her recipes. Thanks for sharing, Justin!

  5. d: that sounds like a good comboeliana: yeah, except good basil is tough to get in the winterjuliana: right, it's an interesting combination that really worksjohnny walker: oh yeah, it's always kind of hot therejenn: right, if you're in so. cal. too, then it's a year-round drink. and right, I don't think my basil plant would have survived the trip!phyllis: ha!megan: thanks for visitingpeachkins: it's good either waymarguerite: you're welcome, and thanks for visitinghelene: yeah, it's a cool combination, very interesting…mary: ha, thanksgirlichef: thanks so much

  6. This looks SOOOO yummy! I definitely must pick up some strawberries and use some of my massive amount of basil in my garden. It looks beautiful! My weekend just perked up!

  7. i'd wanna put some pimms in there. IT probably bastardizes your lovely concoction, but the only thing that i have on my mind these days is a friggin pimm's cup!

  8. FwLT: yeah, i had the same feeling after i made it the first timeamyruth: thanks for visitingcakelaw: thankskoko: i'm jealous of that basil you still havekatie: hmmm, not sure about what that pimm's would do to this?tastetraveller: well, i actually made this about 3 weeks ago… maybe 4?janice: niceparita: thankssylvie: agreed…krystal: oh no!cucinista: did i mention the 3 cups of vodka? slurping this is risky!kerstin: thanks

  9. Ooh, this looks delicious! I recently had a strawberry & basil cocktail and really loved how both complimented each other. Your lemonade capturing these two flavors just puts it over the edge – fabulous!

  10. What a fantastic idea. Strawberry basil lemonade? GENIUS. And don't feel bad, my basil plant is slowly saying it's farewell after I returned from vacation too. I managed to harvest a few last big leaves though… perhaps for the recipe 😉

  11. Not only does it look cool and refreshing but it is so pretty! I feel like I'd need to dress up in something elegant and sip it lounging back in a chaise longue. Lovely! Love the flavors.

  12. Oh Jason I am SOOO trying this! I just made a really simple lemonade from Gordon Ramsay's book Fast Food. it's basically lemons, limes, fine sugar, water, ice and some basil. YUM

  13. yum…we've just moved into spring in my part of the world and as soon as i've got some basil growing out the back, i'll be trying this one out. It looks like the perfect summer drink!

  14. joelen: thanks for visitingpandalicious: that's too badzoe: thanksamerican homemaker: it's gloomy out here, so i wish i had another batch to brighten things upmolly jean: "slowly saying farewell"… that's usually how it goes, except when you go away for 5 days and then the whole plant is crispyjamie: niceamanda: oh really? i have that book at work, so i'll check it out. and it's "justin"… btw.suziwong: jealous…

  15. And my basil is still quite content so will try this. I am pretty boring with my basil: pesto and calabrese! Time to spruce thinks up – lovely to look at and I bet it goes down very nicely.

  16. I love making lemonade from scratch… there's a satisfaction squeezing my own lemons and using different sweeteners such as agave nectar and different fruits. The basil is an interesting addition to the strawberry lemonade I'll have to give that a try! Thanks for the great suggestion!

  17. tiny urban kitchen: agreedclaudia: i'm jealous about your basillt: thank you!amanda: thanks to you, toobridgett: i'm craving some now tookristin: you're welcome, and thanks for visiting

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