Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
I’m a sucker for girly drinks, of both the alcoholic and nonalcoholic variety. Since I was pregnant last summer, I had my fair share of fruity beverages to make up for not being able to enjoy sangria or my favorite summer beers. During that time, I saved a lot (and I mean a lot) of drink recipes. I’m sad that I only recently got around to making this one because it’s really fantastic. It’s cool, refreshing and a perfect way to beat the summer heat.
This drink is essentially a pumped up version of lemonade. I love strawberries, so anything that uses them is most always a winner in my book. Not only does this lemonade get elevated by a sweet strawberry syrup, it’s also got just a hint of fizz which really takes it over the top. The sweet strawberries help balance the tart lemons, and the two together create an ideal summer drink that everyone can enjoy. The sugared rim isn’t necessary, but I love the bit of whimsy it adds. Even though summers here are excruciatingly hot, we seem to spend a ton of time outside. This drink is perfect to have for cookouts, and I can almost guarantee it will disappear in no time. We made it for a cookout yesterday, and it was a big hit. In fact, I’ll make a double batch next time so that there’s more strawberry lemonade goodness to go around.
If lemonade isn’t your thing, this blackberry limeade is my other favorite summer drink.
- YIELD: 6-7 cups
For the strawberry syrup:
1 heaping cup chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cold water
For the lemonade:
⅔ cup sugar
1 cup very hot water
1¼ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 6-7 lemons)
4½ cups cold sparkling water or seltzer
To make the strawberry syrup, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, salt and water in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth, then use a fine mesh strainer to remove all the seeds. Press firmly to extract as much liquid as possible.
To make the lemonade, combine the sugar and hot water in a pitcher. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, then add the strawberry syrup and sparkling water.
To serve, rub a spent lemon wedge along the rim of the glass, then dip in sugar. Add ice if desired and fill with lemonade. Garnish with lemon wedges and/or strawberry slices. Drink and enjoy.