Sparkling Strawberry and Basil Lemonade

lemonade

Sparkling Strawberry and Basil Lemonade
Makes 2½ quarts

2 cups fresh lemon juice
1½ cups Strawberry Basil Simple
Syrup (recipe follows)
2 cups fresh strawberry halves
2 lemons, sliced
Ice cubes
4 cups chilled sparkling water

1. In a pitcher, whisk together lemon juice and Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup. Add strawberries, lemon slices, and ice.
2. Add sparkling water, stirring to combine.

Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup
Makes about 2 cups

1 pound strawberries, stems
removed and chopped
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh basil leaves, divided

1. In a large saucepan, combine strawberries and 2 cups water, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer strawberries for about 15 minutes, skimming foam away from top.
2. Remove from heat; strain mixture, but do not press on solids. Discard solids, and place liquid in a clean medium saucepan. Add sugar and 1 cup basil.
3. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until all sugar is dissolved, skimming foam from top.
4. Remove from heat, and add remaining 1 cup basil. Let cool completely. Strain mixture, and store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Refreshing, fizzy, and fun, Sparkling Strawberry and Basil Lemonade is the perfect beverage to sip on a toasty summer day.