Strawberry Basil Lemonade – This homemade strawberry lemonade recipe tastes incredible thanks to a few simple ingredients. Easy & delicious, it’s the perfect drink for warm weather!
I can almost taste summer.
Here in the desert, we’ve been creeping up to our summer temperatures for weeks now, and with Easter next week, and the summer holidays upon us a few weeks after that, today seemed like the perfect day for something cool, refreshing, and completely delightful.
We’re making strawberry lemonade! Strawberry basil lemonade at that!
I first had strawberry basil lemonade at a pizza place we love and WOW is it amazing. I hadn’t read the menu clearly (I’d missed the basil part!), so when I took a sip I was immediately hooked and totally intrigued. It tastes delicious!
When you take a sip, the flavors of strawberry and lemon shine through right away as the stars of the show. Then, there’s a subtle little *something* that comes after–that’s the basil. It might seem like a strange combo, but once you try it, you’ll totally get the hype.
I love that this jazzed up strawberry lemonade recipe doesn’t take a lot of fuss and it’s made from simple, easy ingredients. So, let’s get started! Here’s what you’ll need to make it…
Here’s What You Need To Make Strawberry Basil Lemonade:
- Fresh (Or Frozen) Strawberries. To achieve the freshest, brightest strawberry flavor, we’re making a strawberry simple syrup that uses fresh strawberries (or frozen strawberries!). The taste is tough to beat!
- Sugar. Next up for our strawberry simple syrup is some sugar. This will sweeten the lemonade and actually helps keep the strawberry simple syrup fresh! Feel free to use superfine or fine sugar if you have it. I’m just using organic sugar today.
- Water. You’ll use water in the simple syrup and to finish off the lemonade.
- Fresh Basil. Now for the fun part! To turn this strawberry lemonade into strawberry basil lemonade, I add a little sweet basil. It’s not enough to overpower the recipe (it won’t taste like pizza sauce or heavily herb-y!). It’s just enough to add a little fresh *something* that’ll keep you coming back for more.
- Fresh Lemon Juice. Plenty of fresh lemon juice makes ALL the difference when you’re making homemade strawberry lemonade. This is NOT a good time for bottle lemon juice, which can taste overly acidic and bitter. Fresh lemon juice will taste the best!
- Pretty Garnishes. Once your strawberry lemonade is done, it’s time to add a fun garnish (or two or three!)
Here’s How To Make Strawberry Basil Lemonade, Step By Step:
- Start The Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup. Add strawberries, sugar, 1 cup water, and the basil to a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly to help break down the berries.
- Simmer & Infuse. Continue to simmer the strawberry simple syrup 10-15 minutes or so, until it smells fragrant and the syrup has thickened somewhat.
- Strain The Syrup. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl or large liquid measuring cup and pour the strawberry basil simple syrup mixture over the sieve to allow the liquid to drain into the bowl. Do NOT press down on the strawberries in an attempt to extract more juice or the simple syrup will be cloudy. (If that doesn’t bother you, go ahead!) Discard the strawberries or set aside for another use.
- Cool The Syrup. Allow the strawberry syrup to cool to at least room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Make Your Lemonade! When you’re ready to mix up your lemonade, add ice to a large pitcher and pour in the strawberry-basil simple syrup. Top with lemon juice, and add water. Stir to combine, and add your favorite garnishes!
- Taste & Adjust. Since you’re adding ice to the pitcher (which will melt and dilute the lemonade somewhat), I tend to make the strawberry basil lemonade a bit on the strong side at first. Give it a taste and if you need to dilute it more, you can add more water until it feels right to you!
Make It Pretty! Garnishes For Strawberry Lemonade:
Thanks to your strawberry basil simple syrup, this strawberry lemonade will look pretty stunning as it is. (Seriously, that color!), but you can make it even prettier with a few of our favorite garnishes…
- Ice. Plenty of ice makes most mocktails & drinks better, right?
- Lemon Slices. Add some lemon slices or lemon wedges to brighten things up with some sunny yellow. (Don’t do this too far in advance, or the bitterness of the white pith can start to seep into the drink!)
- Sliced Strawberries. I love to add some sliced strawberries to the pitcher or individual glasses to play up the color and flavor of this strawberry basil lemonade recipe. Slice washed strawberries in half lengthwise (greens and all!) for a pop of color, or remove the stems and slice the strawberries width-wise into circles for a fun look.
- A Sugared Rim. Go big with a sugared rim! If you’re serving this lemonade at a baby or wedding shower or special occasion, a sugared rim around your glasses can be a fun special touch.
- Fresh Basil. The secret star of the show! Add a few whole or torn basil leaves to the pitcher, or use a chiffonade cut to add beautiful little ribbons of basil.
- Pretty Ice Cubes. If you’ve got the time, try making pretty ice cubes. You can add strawberry slices, basil leaves, lemon wedges, or even edible flowers like chamomile!
- Cute Straws. We use reusable silicone straws for most things around our house, but for parties or special occasions, it’s fun to break out some cute patterned straws. We like these eco-friendly red and white straws to mimic the colors in the drink.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Would This Work With Mint Instead? Yes, and it’s completely delicious. You can swap out the fresh basil for fresh mint, if you prefer. Strawberries, mint, and lemon are beautiful together!
Can I Leave Out The Basil? Yes. If you’re not sure you’re ready for strawberry basil lemonade, don’t have basil on hand, or you’re just craving classic homemade strawberry lemonade, you can absolutely skip the basil. It’ll still make amazing strawberry lemonade!
Can You Use Frozen Strawberries To Make Lemonade? You bet! Especially since we’re cooking them down and making an infused strawberry simple syrup, it doesn’t matter whether you use fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries. In the spring and summer when they’re in season, fresh, and on sale, I love using fresh. When they’re out of season or you want an easy shortcut, frozen strawberries are perfect!
How Long Does Homemade Lemonade Stay Fresh? Homemade lemonade will last in the refrigerator 5-7 days. The strawberry simple syrup will stay fresh in the freezer up to 2 months, or you can refrigerate it up to 2 weeks. Once you’ve made it into lemonade, stick to the 5-7 days timeline.
Is Strawberry The Same As Pink Lemonade? Generally speaking, no! Most commercial pink lemonade is simply dyed. Sometimes, it’s also artificially flavored to taste like strawberry, but most pink lemonade doesn’t contain actual strawberries or strawberry syrup.
For those who like to avoid refined sugars, you *can* try to make this using agave, maple syrup or honey. You’ll use an equal amount of liquid sweetener to sugar for the simple syrup. I find agave has the most neutral flavor. (Honey can be overly strong, while maple syrup can impact the strength of the lemon flavor)