Crisp and sweet, tangy and refreshing, this Berry Basil Lemonade will be your go to drink this summer. The sweet berries of summer paired with crisp and tangy lemonade, muddled with sweet basil is a perfect combination. Add in a little black cherry vodka and you’ve got yourself the perfect cocktail for the patio.
This lemonade combines all our favorite things for when the hot summer months roll around. I cannot keep enough berries in my house to feed the hungry little monsters. They easily finish off a pint, each, in one sitting. I’m not complaining though, I’d rather them polish off a pint of raspberries than a can of Pringles. And to be honest, I’m right there with them. I add berries to salads, smoothies, desserts and everything in between.
Strawberries are my families favorite berry so expect to see a lot of recipes featuring them this summer when they’re especially at their peak. We also love lemonade. This recipe uses a premade lemonade mix but you can certainly make your own with some sugar and lemons. Berry Basil Lemonade also highlights my favorite herb, basil. I simply cannot get enough of this fresh herb and it grows like crazy in my garden. Thank you herb Gods. Pestos, pizza, drinks, salads, straight off the plant, no basil leaf goes untouched around here.
Summer is my favorite month and the season I look forward to all year. Warm sunshine, swimming pools, bonfires, BBQ’s and farmers markets where the produce is just begging for you to take it home. Don’t mind if I do. I try to make it downtown to our local farmers market every Saturday morning so I can peruse the goodies that our local farmers have come to show off. I never leave empty-handed and it’s probably my favorite “grocery” store trip of the week. I’m happy to buy delicious produce straight from the farm for its freshness and also to help the local farmer and his family continue to do what they love. Win-win.
I had a version of this berry basil lemonade recently at a bar downtown Chicago when I was celebrating my friend Amy’s bachelorette party (Happy Wedding day, love!) I took the first sip and pronounced, I’m going home to make my own version immediately. It was probably the most delicious and refreshing drink I’ve ever ordered at a bar and I’ve had my fair share of cocktails. The very next weekend, I went home to make this so I could share my new obsession with my husband and lovely neighbors. I made a pitcher of the berry basil lemonade, sans alcohol, so kids and adults alike could enjoy the drink and add vodka to their glass if they did so choose.
Everyone loved this lemonade as much as I loved the first sip I had in Chicago. The pitcher was gone before I knew it and I was in the kitchen hustling to make another batch STAT. If you are going to add alcohol, we used Black Cherry vodka and you can control how much to add in each glass. We added anywhere from 1 to 2 shots (1-2 ounces) but warning, it’s dangerous. The vodka mixes perfectly with the berries and you cannot taste the alcohol. I would recommend that if you want to add the alcohol to the pitcher, add in about 6 ounces. This berry basil lemonade served six 8 ounce glasses, so that would be approximately 1 shot per person and again, everyone can always add more to their individual glasses. I know a few friends who did just that, not mentioning any names here.
Berry Basil Lemonade
Crisp and sweet, tangy and refreshing, this Berry Basil Lemonade will be your go to drink this summer. The sweet berries of summer paired with crisp and tangy lemonade, muddled with sweet basil is a perfect combination. Add in a little black cherry vodka and you've got yourself the perfect cocktail for the patio.
- 6-12 basil leaves
- 6 ounces blackberries
- 64 ounces lemonade (I use Minute Maid Light 15 cal)
- 16 ounces strawberries, sliced
- Black Cherry vodka, optional
- Add 6-8 basil leaves to pitcher and muddle
- Add blackberries to pitcher and muddle slightly with the basil leaves
- Add strawberries to pitcher followed by the lemonade
- (If adding alcohol, add in after the lemonade)
- Stir everything to combine
- To prepare each drink:
- Add 1-2 basil leaves to the glass and muddle, optional.
- Pour lemonade into glass and scoop out some of the strawberries and blackberries to garnish the drink.
- If adding alcohol individually to each glass, pour in after the lemonade.
This Berry Basil Lemonade is so refreshing and perfect for entertaining. The flavors only get better the longer they sit, so you could easily make this in the morning and serve it around dinner time. It frees you up from having to be a bartender at your own party. I would just advise you make multiple pitchers of it. It’s that good. Promise and I don’t lie when it comes to food and drinks…err… I don’t lie period. Yeah, that sounds better.
If you make one thing this summer, please tell me you make this. If you don’t prefer basil, this would also be delicious with mint. Next time I make this recipe, I am going to use homemade lemonade and may throw in a few raspberries too.
As always, if you make this recipe, please share a photo on social media and hashtag it #strawberryblondiekitchen I love to see your versions and the different ways you’ll mix it up.