Hello! Hoping everyone is enjoying a prodigious start to Summer. I know we are all excited to be, ostensibly, back to normal(ish) with regard to outdoor (and indoor!) gatherings and parties. And while the upcoming holiday weekend comes at a time when we might feel like there is very little to celebrate, with so much hardship and unsettling news in the world right now, perhaps we can all take a deep breath, come together for one day, and celebrate this amazing and imperfect country of ours. I’m going with that. After all, it is strawberry season, and that alone is worth celebrating.
We’ll be hosting some very good friends this Independence Day, so I rooted around for a fun, refreshing drink that could be made in large batches, with an option to spike if so moved, rendering it the perfect all-ages-friendly libation. This year’s winner: strawberry lemonade; a.k.a. drinkable air conditioning. Not too sweet, not too sour, it strikes a delightfully harmonious balance that pairs beautifully with any picnic spread under the sun: burgers, salads, sausages, barbecued chicken and grilled veggies. It all works!
Once you have it in the pitcher, chill it to maximum capacity ahead of time, and then add ice when serving. Oh, and vodka, too — if choosing to exercise that option.
Have a fabulous and safe Fourth of July!
Simplest Strawberry Lemonade
(adapted from Ahead of Thyme)
1 c. water
½ c. granulated sugar
1 c. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 c. strawberries
Lemon wedges for serving
Ice for serving
Club soda for serving
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Let the mixture cool completely.
In a blender, puree 1½ cups of strawberries until smooth. You can strain it if you prefer, or just leave a little chunky. I like the added bonus of more fruit.
Transfer the strawberry puree, sugar mixture and club soda to a large pitcher and whisk together until combined. Chill in the fridge until completely cold.
Slice the remaining strawberries and stir into the lemonade. Serve with lemon wedges and ice.