This strawberry lemonade recipe uses my triple citrus lemonade recipe and gets loaded with fat juicy and sweet strawberries. Just to be extra cool we add a bit of mint, green and red basil.
If you haven't made my citrus lemonade recipe yet then give it a quick read. We use that as the base for this one.
As far as drinks go I am not a big pink-drink fan. Not because it's pink but because it's often very fruity and sweet.
I do however turn this strawberry lemonade into a naturally fermented strawberry soda. Less sweet and richer in flavour. That, I do like.
For the purpose of this recipe, we will stick to the fruity sweeter version and get to the soda later.
Because the triple citrus lemonade is such a winning recipe. It makes sense to use the best of what's in season. A few fresh strawberries and fresh herbs that complement each other well.
Ingredients for strawberry lemonade are simple, but make sure you get the best you can afford. Plump, sweet and unblemished strawberries are essential for the flavour of this lemonade.
- Strawberries - Get the best you can afford. They need to be sweet and juicy without any bad spots.
- Lemons - Good quality unwaxed lemons.
- Limes - Same as for lemons. Make sure they are bright and green with no yellow spots.
- Oranges - Use a nice sweet juicy variety and also make sure it's not waxed.
- Mint - Fresh as a daisy and make sure it's not spearmint.
- Basil - I used red and green basil but, buy whatever is available.
- Sugar - Normal granulated sugar although, honey, agave syrup, maple syrup and other sweeteners can also be used.
- Water - Clean drinkable tap water.
Below we will go through how to make lemonade in a few easy steps.
The zest is loaded with flavour oils that carry the aroma and flavour of the citrus.
Usually, people throw this away.
Big mistake. It's the secret ingredient in this recipe.
The only things we will add are strawberries and basil.
- Wash the citrus and strawberries thoroughly under cold running water.
- Zest as much citrus as the recipe calls for and cut the rest of the citrus in half ready to juice and use as garnish. Make sure the zest is fine and you are not using any of the white pith underneath the zest. That stuff is bitter and will spoil your lemonade.
- Bring to the boil 250g water and 250g sugar until dissolved. Add 750g of cold water to cool the liquid down slightly. You could also add 750g of ice instead if you have it.
- Add the citrus zest to this 20% sugar syrup and let it infuse for about an hour. This step is vital as we are extracting the flavour oils from the citrus zest.
- When infused strain through a sieve into a suitable container discarding the spent zest and keeping the syrup.
- Juice the citrus and add the juice to the above syrup.
- Add 1L of water.
- Taste for balance and adjust if needed to your own personal taste. Remember that you will add ice to the lemonade and that will dilute it too. So keep it nice and brightly flavoured and well balanced.
- Remove the green leaves from the strawberries and cut them into quarters. Add to the lemonade.
- Place in the fridge to chill well.
- Slice some citrus and pick a few sprigs of fresh mint and basil.
- Add into a jug with ice and give a stir.
- Serve with chilled glasses filled with more citrus slices, mint, basil, strawberries and ice.
This homemade lemonade recipe serves as a base for other berry or fruit lemonades too. We sell litres and litres of various lemonades at events and it's a very popular non-alcoholic cocktail.
Small parts can be adjusted and things added to make a completely unique drink.
- Citrus - I love using the trio of citrus but, you could use only lemons, limes or oranges or mix them as you wish. It would make sense to use more orange over holidays like Christmas and add some cranberries. You could also add some more exotic citrus like Japanese yuzu or French Bergamot. Just keep in mind that some citrus zest are very bitter. Which is a good thing if you are having it with gin.
- Sugar - Sugar is basically just to balance the lemonade but you could use maple syrup, agave syrup, or other sweeteners like stevia. Just be mindful that they all differ in sweetness and something like stevia is super strong so you might only need a few spoon fulls instead of 250g)
- Herbs - You could also use lavender or tarragon for a slight variation. Fancy it up by adding a touch of sage, thyme or rosemary. Especially good when used as a cocktail.
- Water - I sometimes substitute the plain water for sparkling water or use tea instead. Green tea makes for an extremely delicious lemonade/iced tea or you could also brew a berry tea especially for this recipe.
- Other fruit and berries - With this, it's good to follow the seasons. You can add any seasonal fruit. Like cherries, apricots, blackberries, peaches etc. You could also spice it up a bit with fresh ginger root, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaf or spices like cinnamon, clove and cardamom.
Important when modifying this lemonade recipe
Keep the flavours simple and minimal and don't overload the lemonade.
If you add too many spices, herbs or aromatics then the flavours battle each other and you end up with something forgettable and nasty.
The flavours should complement each other.
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- Alcoholic - You could add a wide range of alcohol to strawberry lemonade to make delicious cocktails. Gin and vodka are the natural choices but you could also use white rum, Aperol, Campari or Martini.
- Non-alcoholic - It's a great summer spritz or a mocktail at parties as is. Add a few long ribbons of cucumber or serve in a martini glass as a no alcoholic strawberry martini.
- In baking - You can use to drizzle over freshly baked cakes like strawberry cream cakes or into cupcakes before adding frosting and more fresh strawberries. It keeps the crumb moist and soft while adding extra flavour.
- Frozen - Freeze in popsicle forms for funky little refreshing snacks. Or, pour into ice cube trays to gently flavour water or to avoid the original from diluting.
- Naturally fermented soda - You could leave this lemonade to ferment into a naturally carbonated soda. Add 400g of chopped quartered strawberries. Ferment like you would a kombucha and then bottle it after about 4 days at room temperature. Add a teaspoon full of sugar when bottling to make sure it gets nice and bubbly as the natural yeast on the fruit consumes the sugar and in turn carbonates the strawberry lemonade into a strawberry soda. Let it stand at room temperature for another 4 days and then store in the fridge making sure it's well chilled before drinking.
If you have never fermented anything or not sure about the process, contact me on Instagram @pantsdownapronson and I will walk you through it all in detail.
Other recipes you might like
- BBQ - Lemonade is always a welcome sight on a hot day when having a BBQ. Make this crispy pork belly along with a few sides or this angelfish as a healthier option.
- Baking - You could use a bit of this lemonade base to drizzle onto a freshly baked cherry and almond tart. If you like baking check out this awesome Russian honey cake(my favourite) or this sexy carrot and walnut cake.
- Drinks - Use as a base for other juices and drinks like adding to this beetroot and ginger juice for a heart-healthy breakfast drink.
- Fruit salad - Might as well enjoy summer at it's best.
- Asian - As a non-alcoholic drink to serve with curries like this prawn massaman curry or this coconut chicken curry
Useful equipment for this recipe
Glass jug - Buy Now
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