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!
- 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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