Summer Drink: Strawberry Lemonade

by Kristin on June 25, 2013

With summer in full swing and barbecue weather upon us, my grill has been getting quite the workout. Even so, the ultimate barbecuing holiday is only a week away, and I can already smell the scent of burgers and corn on the cob wafting through the neighborhood. Though I have yet to start planning the holiday menu, there’s one thing I know for sure: a summer barbecue just wouldn’t be complete without a cold glass of lemonade.

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While the classic lemonade will always hold a place in my heart, sometimes it can be a fun idea to play around with new flavors. With strawberries in season, a pint can go a long way into creating a rosy red lemonade. While the strawberries add sweetness, the fresh tart lemon juice works to balance it out. Garnished with strawberry slices and a sprig of mint, the combination creates a vibrant beverage that will help you beat the heat.

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This lemonade has a few tricks up its sleeve. If you are having a get-together and want to serve something a little more festive, add a lemon-lime soda to create a fizzy, vibrant punch. Or, for the adults in the room, this would be wonderful spiked with a little tequila—it could definitely pass as a strawberry margarita.

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Strawberry Lemonade

Yields about 1 1/2 quarts

1 pint (16 ounces) strawberries, quartered
1/2 to 3/4 cup (100-150 grams) granulated sugar
4 cups (950 ml) water
1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)

In a large skillet, place the quartered strawberries, sprinkle on 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and allow to sit for 5 minutes to begin releasing the juices. Add the 4 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the strawberries for about 20 minutes to release all of the flavor. Taste the juice; if it is not sweet enough, add a tablespoon of sugar at a time until it reaches your desired sweetness. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.

In a food processor or blender, process the strawberry mixture until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Add the lemon juice and refrigerate until cold before serving. If the strawberry mixture is too thick, thin it with a bit of water—you won’t sacrifice the flavor. Garnish with strawberry slices and a sprig of mint.

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