There is nothing quite like enjoying a sweet but tart lemonade on a warm summer day. We recently did so in Burano Italy! But it wasn’t just ordinary lemonade. It was Fresh Strawberry Basil Lemonade and it was the best cold beverage ever!
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The Island of Burano:
Burano is a small island very near Venice. From Venice it takes about a half hour by boat to get to this charming fishing village with very brightly painted houses. Our guide told us that the reason for the vibrant colors on the exterior of these houses was that inebriated fisherman would often enter the wrong house after a long day of fishing…and apparently a long night of drinking. As you can imagine, this ‘confusion’ would end up causing some marital discord. So the fisherman painted their houses with very distinctive hues so they would not make that ‘mistake’ again. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it!
No matter the reason, I love the colors and the ambiance of this town!
Burano is such a unique and charming place! We absolutely loved spending an afternoon there.
The Fresh Strawberry Basil Lemonade:
While on the island we enjoyed an amazing seafood lunch and as I mentioned a delicious lemonade. I decided to make my own refreshing strawberry version inspired by Burano to share with you. I use a quick dissolving sugar and add several stalks of basil grown in my raised bed herb garden.. I recently served this at a baby shower and it was a big hit.
The Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Basil
You will need a citrus juicer, a blender and caster or superfine baker’s sugar (affiliate links). Caster sugar is so fine it dissolves very quickly, meaning you can skip making a ‘simple syrup’ on the cooktop…I like saving steps when possible.
I use a Blendtec blender to puree the frozen strawberries and freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can find new or re-certifed Blendtec blenders for half the price here!
See the Factory Re-certified Blendtec Total Blender Classic Series.
- 9 cups cold water
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups caster or baker's sugar
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 bunch fresh basil
Place frozen strawberries and lemon juice in a blender. Blend till almost smooth. Place in a pitcher and add nine cups very cold water and super fine sugar. Stir well. Add a few stems of basil. Refrigerate till ready to use keeping in mind the longer the basil is in the water the stronger the basil flavor will be.
Layer ice cubes and basil leaves in each glass. Pour lemonade over. Garnish with a basil leaf and serve.
Simple, gorgeous and just a little bit unique, like the island that inspired the recipe!
This is the last post in my “Italy Series”. If you would like to see the first five posts and recipes click here for Rome, here for Positano, here for Florence, here for Montepulciano and here for Venice. Have a fabulous summer and stay cool my friends!
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I love strawberry lemonade! Never thought to put basil in it, though. 🙂
I just love you are incorporating your Italy trip into your blog and sharing this delicious recipe with some pictures from your trip! This looks tasty, never would have paired basil in lemonade. Yum!
I bet this drink is sooo refreshing! Stawberries are awesome, in any food or drink!
This looks amazing! I’m usually not a basil fan but I’m always willing to try new things! I’m sure this is so good!
I am very intrigued to try this. The basil is something I would never have thought to add, but it must add such a nice flavor, I can’t wait to try it myself!
Also, I loved the suggestion of using baker’s sugar instead of having to make a simple syrup on the stove. I often overlook recipes that call for making a simple syrup simply due to time constraints. So this is an awesome hint!
Thanks Amanda! I try to keep it simple when I can!
I grew lemon basil this year and added it to the recipe. I will close my eyes and pretend I am in Burano.
This is making my mouth water! Thanks for sharing. I love Italy!
I have a lovely basil plant growing in my backyard and always look for new creative ways to add it to my daily diet. This is a perfect addition. Thanks Linda!
Yum! Love the addition of basil.
Oh I want to be back in Italy bad right now!
This looks so delicious and refreshing–a perfect summer combination. Thanks!!!
Love all your recipes that are inspired by your world travels! This one sounds so refreshing!
Love recipes using strawberries and basil!!
Such a classic combination!
Just asking.. Do you think it needs the sugar?
Bet it’s a super re-fresher!
Yes but you could do less. Without the sugar it would be very sour.
Sounds perfect on a hot summer’s day. I’m interested in trying the combo of strawberry and basil – two of my favorites!