This takes homemade lemonade and kicks it up a notch with fresh picked strawberries or at least strawberries you picked up fresh from your grocery or farmer's market. As much as I love good lemonade, I might like this even better. It's perfect for a beverage choice at your summer cookouts or other various events...bridal and baby showers, graduation parties, church events, family reunions, pool parties, even a country themed wedding. It's so pretty and fresh tasting. It won't last long. This recipe makes 1/2 gallon, but you can easily double it for a larger crowd. Here is what you will need:
6-8 lemons or enough to produce 1 cup lemon juice (depending on their size and juiciness)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar (If you like your lemonade a little less sweet reduce the sugar to 1 cup)
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and divided
1 lemon, cut in thin slices
Place the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil to make a simple syrup. Boil for about 1 minute. Mash or puree 1 cup of the strawberries and add them to the simple syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little while you juice the lemons.
Juice the lemons, removing seeds and pulp. Add lemon juice and simple syrup to a 2 quart pitcher and blend. Add water and ice to fill and stir.
Lightly score one whole lemon you have reserved for garnish. Don't cut deep, just light cuts in the skin. Then slice in nice thin slices. Add the slices to the pitcher of lemonade and stir. Cutting the outer skin a little releases more of the oils and flavor of the lemon.
Slice the other cup of strawberries and add them to the pitcher.
Allow the lemonade to sit for about 30 minutes before serving for the best flavor and to chill.
If you have leftover strawberry lemonade you want to save (you probably won't), remove the lemon slices, cover and refrigerate. The lemon slices, if left in for very long, will make the leftover lemonade slightly bitter.