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.