This homemade strawberry basil lemonade recipe has less sugar than most varieties but delivers the same great taste! It’s sweetened with honey and tastes delicious on its own or mixed with alcohol, such as vodka.
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Are you growing some herbs this summer?! I’m so excited to get some of my favorites planted in my backyard veggie beds. And yes, I know I’m a little late…my beds were getting redone!
In the meantime, I had to capitalize on the start of fresh herb season with a new recipe. With berries being in season too, I settled on a strawberry basil combination. I also had the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, aka the beginning of summer entertaining and cookouts, in mind.
What’s better than a refreshing, seasonal drink to pair with summer food? Honestly, nothing. So here it is: a strawberry basil lemonade that has major sip-on-the-back-patio vibes. Plus, you can even spike it with a little booze if you’re serving it for happy hour!
Unlike a lot of the other recipes for this drink on the web, my version does not use a ton of sugar. Instead, I added some honey but mostly let the natural sweetness of the basil and berries shine. Yum!
How to Make Strawberry Basil Lemonade
- Combine sliced strawberries, basil leaves, honey, and water in a saucepan to make a simple syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
- In the meantime, juice the lemons.
- Strain the simple syrup through a sieve into a bowl or jar. Discard the cooked berries and basil.
- Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and water in a large pitcher. Stir to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate until cold, or serve immediately over ice.
- The strawberry, basil, and honey mixture yields about two cups of simple syrup. If you don’t want to make a big batch of lemonade, you can use a cup of the syrup and cut the rest of the recipe in half. Keep the leftover syrup in the fridge for about a week or freeze it for up to six months.
- You’ll need one cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice for strawberry basil lemonade. For reference, this is around 10 small to medium lemons. Get one of those bags of lemons at the store if you can!
- This recipe can be stored in a covered pitcher in the fridge for up to a week. Give it a good stir before serving.
- I personally like to add some sparkling water to my glass before drinking. You can also mix strawberry basil lemonade with vodka or another alcohol of choice to make a cocktail.
- If you make this lemonade for a party, I think it would be really cute to serve it in mason jars with these striped straws! Remember to reserve some strawberries and basil leaves for garnish.
Strawberry basil lemonade is a great addition to a spring or summer meal. Serve it with my Halloumi Sandwiches with Veggies and Pesto, Asparagus Pasta Salad with Lemon Tahini, Grilled Panzanella Salad, or Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese with Heirloom Tomato. For another refreshing drink, check out the Healthy Cucumber Mint Lemonade.
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Strawberry Basil Lemonade with Honey
- 2 cups strawberries - halved
- 1 cup basil leaves - loosely packed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice - from about 10 lemons
- Combined the strawberries, basil, honey, and 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the mixture cook down for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the berries are pale red and the mixture is slightly thickened.
- Remove the mixture from heat and strain it through a mesh sieve into a bowl or jar. Discard the cooked berries and basil. You should have about 2 cups of simple syrup.
- In a large pitcher, combine the strawberry basil syrup with the lemon juice. Add 2 to 3 cups water, and stir well. Cover the pitcher, and refrigerate until cold. Or you can serve it right away over ice.
- Feel free to add some additional plain or sparkling water for serving, or a splash of vodka or another alcohol to make a cocktail if desired. Garnish with sliced strawberries and basil leaves. Enjoy!
- The nutrition facts may be slightly off, since the strawberries are discarded after cooking.
- Fresh or frozen strawberries can be used.
- The strawberry basil syrup can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. You can also freeze it for up to six months.
Happy summer! – Lizzie