Summer in the city, it can be hot, sticky, muggy and down right disgusting. If you dare to venture outside on one of those hot days for some outdoor time good luck finding space in one of the parks, everyone has decided to do the same. Up until this past weekend we were dealing with a brutal heat wave, I had to take myself down to Florida for the Food and Wine Conference in order to cool off (I’m not kidding, it was 10 degrees cooler down there)!
I personally like to hibernate in my air conditioned apartment when the temperatures begin to soar, but then there is a part of me that feels like I’m missing summer. What is a girl supposed to do? Make lemonade of course! The perfect summer drink – this time full of fresh summer berries to give it a fruity touch and a gorgeous red hue.
I went ahead and used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries but go ahead and use whatever is fresh and available near you at this time. The freshness of the berries is key to this drink. Oh and go ahead and spike the lemonade if you feel like adding a little something extra to it for a party or just for yourself. I think a touch of vodka or even bourbon would do it justice. :-)
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon pure cane sugar
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup chopped fresh strawberries
- ⅓ cup fresh raspberries
- ⅓ cup fresh blueberries
- ⅓ cup fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3-4 cups cold water
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir ¾ cups of sugar and 1 cup of water until dissolved completely. Let cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, mix together the berries with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- With a potato masher, break up the berries until they are mostly mashed but have some texture still remaining. Pour into a large pitcher.
- Pour the simple syrup, lemon juice and basil into the pitcher. Stir to combine and add 3-4 cups cold water depending on the size of your pitcher.
- Let the lemonade chill in your refrigerator prior to serving or serve with plenty of ice.