Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade: Spiked or Unspiked ~ #SundaySupper

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Memorial Day weekend is a favorite of mine. 1. It marks the start of summer and flip-flop weather, 2. I get to enjoy an extra day off of work, and 3. It means a smorgasbord of grilled meat and picnic food.

This week the #SundaySupper crew is cookin’ up picnic food. I always imagined riding my bike to the park with an assortment of simple ingredients in the handlebar basket. Laying out a blanket on the plush green grass and popping the cork to cold bottle of bubbly. Me sprawled out on the blanket with arms propped up and hands under my chin, and Squirrel laying on his side next to me as we chat about our future. Sounds romantic, right? I need to hurry up and make that little fantasy a reality. It sounds relaxing.

The truth is, I’ve never actually been on a picnic; well, at least not a picnic as relaxing and breezy as the one in my day dream. I’ve experienced the beach picnic before, but that’s more of a hassle–sand, everywhere! Crunching on grit while I chew my sandwich is not my idea of delicious.

Whether you’re sitting on a patchwork blanket or hosting an outdoor barbecue, I have the perfect drink to go with your meal–strawberry-basil lemonade. You have the option to turn this delicious, refreshing drink into a cocktail, which is where the spiked or unspiked in the title comes in. If little ones are going to join in on the fun, obviously unspiked is the way to go. If it’s an adults-only party, booze it up! You can even make two batches, one child-friendly version and one adult version.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | -7282

I always choose to spike my strawberry-basil lemonade. What can I say, I live the wild and crazy life. Spiked = good times, and I’m all about good times. Yes, you can leave it unspiked, but what fun would that be?

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

This beverage is perfect on a hot summer’s day. It’s refreshing, tart, and sweet.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | -7370

I decided not to strain the strawberry pulp; however, if you’re not a fan of pulp, feel free to strain the simple syrup mixture through a sieve after blending. I really like the pulp in this recipe. It thickens the drink slightly and boosts the strawberry flavor. The result is a smooth, velvety drink bursting with juicy strawberries, tart lemons, and hints of sweet basil.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | -7372

Add a few splashes of vodka, rum, or even prosecco, and you have yourself a refreshing summer cocktail.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade -7353

If you’re leaving the lemonade alcohol free, add 2 extra cups of water in place of the alcohol.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade -7365

Enjoy your Memorial Day!

Check out the other picnic-inspired #SundaySupper recipes:

Salads and Slaws:

Sandwiches and Mains:



Strawberry-Basil Lemonade: Spiked or Unspiked

Recipe Type: Beverage, Cocktail
Author: Jennie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 lb strawberries
  • 1 cup basil leaves + 4-5 leaves, divided
  • 2 cups vodka, rum, or prosecco, optional (if leaving unspiked, add 2 more cups of water)
  1. Add sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, strawberries, and basil to a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Take off the heat and allow the mixture to set for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the mixture to a blender and pulse until smooth. Add 4-5 basil leaves and pulse to break up the leaves. Feel free to run the mixture through a sieve if you don’t like pulp.
  3. Add the lemon juice, water, sugar mixture, and vodka (if using) to a large pitcher. Stir to combine. Pour over ice.

62 Responses to “Strawberry-Basil Lemonade: Spiked or Unspiked ~ #SundaySupper”

  1. #
    CCU — May 26, 2013 at 5:18 am

    Now that you have that beautiful lemonade, I think you deserve to enjoy a real picnic my friend :D
    I will take the unspiked glass thank you!



  2. #
    shannon — May 26, 2013 at 6:02 am

    yes!!! you know, i just made strawberry lemonade last weekend while my mom was here; it was amazing. The only reason i didn’t add basil was because she was here, and my family mostly makes faces anytime i want to get herby with things. They have NO IDEA what they’re missing out on. Your lemonade is gorgeous. Have a great holiday weekend!


  3. #
    Katy — May 26, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Great idea to use basil – I have to try this – and definitely spiked!


  4. #
    [email protected] & Trinkets — May 26, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Yum, this sounds amazing! I wanna try it with seltzer and make it fizzy! :D

    Also, I love picnics. Me and the bestie go on impromptu ones all the time: grab some cold fried chicken from the supermaket, a tub of fresh potato salad from the deli, a bottle of lemonade, and head to the nearest park. ;)


  5. #
    Stacy — May 26, 2013 at 7:07 am

    That looks so refreshing, Jennie, that I want to reach right in and drink one down. I have a feeling that they could be dangerous spiked because they look soooo easy to drink. Especially on a very hot day. But, you know what, I have always liked living life on the edge. :)


  6. #
    Renee — May 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

    I’ll take the spiked version please! Basil and strawberry just screams summer and so does this beverage.


  7. #
    Jen @JuanitasCocina — May 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Spiked please! And WITH pulp!


  8. #
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked — May 26, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Bwahahaha I had no idea until I read your post how identical our recipes (and titles and photos!) are. We truly are two peas and yes, we absolutely would be BFFs if we lived near each other. We’d also be alcoholics but at least we’d be alcoholics together. I love everything about your lemonade: the puréed strawberries, the basil (yum!) and the two cups of booze. Yes yes yes to all of it! Looking at your beautiful photos makes me want to crash your romantic picnic with Squirrel and help myself to some good grub and spiked lemonade ;) Happy Memorial Day long weekend to you both!


  9. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — May 26, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I love this! So refreshing and perfect for celebrating summer!


  10. #
    Amanda @ Marocmama — May 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Strawberries are still a long way from being ready to pick here but when they are this looks amazing!


  11. #
    Cindys Recipes and Writings — May 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    You can mix me a drink anytime (What are you doing July 4th? ha ha!)!


  12. #
    Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite — May 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I’ll take mine spiked please. Sounds amazing


  13. #
    Megan — May 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    YUM! I will take a glass of spiked strawberry basil lemonade right now please!


  14. #
    Diana @GourmetDrizzles — May 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I LOVE strawberries and basil… and this lemonade sounds awesome! I’d like mine with rum- yum!


  15. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — May 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Beautiful photos! I just made strawberry basil gelato this week and was amazed at how well the flavors aligned. I bet your lemonade is the same way. Great recipe!


  16. #
    Tara — May 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    This looks crazy good and I have to try it the next time I need a cocktail. I know I would love it!!


  17. #
    Carla — May 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Ha I’m a lame and would drink this without the booze. I love strawberry lemonade and the idea of adding basil makes it sound more refreshing.


  18. #
    kathia Rodriguez — May 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    can I come over for a drink? Delicious.


  19. #
    Sarah — May 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Never thought to add herbs to lemonade! Definitely going to try it with my lemon thyme


  20. #
    Martin D. Redmond — May 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Yum…love this recipe (especially your choice to leave the strawberry pulp)!


  21. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — May 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Oooooh so refreshing! Michael would love this too!


  22. #
    cj — May 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Nice to have an extra day off – Hope you’re enjoying yours :-)


  23. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — May 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Spiked or not this looks so incredible!!!! I need this in my life now.


  24. #
    Julia — May 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    happy Memorial Day to you too, lady! This Lemonade looks so refreshing and tasty!


  25. #
    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons — May 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I totally agree with you about crunching on sand at the beach – so gross. I think that’s the reason why I think Pringles are the perfect beach/picnic food. They’re portable of course, but more importantly – they’re kind of “grainy” to begin with, so if you get a few particles of sand or dirt in there, you’re (mostly) none the wiser :)

    This lemonade looks perfect for washing down my Pringles. haha.


  26. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — May 28, 2013 at 12:28 am

    I love a good lemonade! This is so pretty and it looks so refreshing!


  27. #
    [email protected] — May 28, 2013 at 6:39 am

    My mouth is watering up just looking at these pictures


  28. #
    Nicole @ Daily Dish Recipes — May 28, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Yes please. I’ll take a glass of either spiked or unspiked. Well, maybe I need a glass of spiked today… it’s that kind of a day. LOL
    This is gorgeous Jennie!


  29. #
    Laura Dembowski — May 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I’ve never been on a picnic either. And yay to summer for sure! I have never liked lemonade but it wasn’t made with fresh lemon juice and strawberries. I must give this a try. Plus it’s so pretty!


  30. #
    Family Foodie — May 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    My kids love strawberry lemonade, but I’ve never made it at home. Great recipe. I could make some virgin ones before adding the alcohol, and the kids would love it! Sounds so refreshing!


  31. #
    Soni — May 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Oh absolutely love your strawberry basil lemonade.Love the booze in there too :) Would be my perfect picnic drink :)


  32. #
    Susan — May 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Such pretty strawberries! I love it with basil and I’ll take mine with prosecco please!


  33. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — May 29, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Hi Jennie,
    Love this! You and Nancy had the same great idea!! Your lemonade looks delicious and the strawberries look fabulous and sweet and delicious! LOVE!


  34. #
    Tammi @ Momma's Meals — May 29, 2013 at 10:15 am

    This looks so refreshing! Perfect for any picnic! I also love how it can be for prego’s like me! :)


  35. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I’ll take mine spiked, please! Ohhh, how incredible this would be with a splash of Prosecco. Love it, Jennie!


  36. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — May 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I love your romantical view of a picnic! =) You really do need to go on one soon – my husband + I do a picnic maybe once a year + it’s always a ton of fun. But I agree – not on the beach, sand gets everywhere! I would definitely include this awesome lemonade on my next picnic – It looks + sounds fab!


  37. #
    Jenn and Seth — May 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    i’m in love with this lemonade!


  38. #
    Terra — June 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Oh definitely spiked please! Your recipe would be rockin’ on a warm summer day! My basil is growing like crazy, so I definitely need to make this lovely drink….AND I just so happen to have some prosecco, BONUS!!! Yum, Hugs, Terra


  39. #
    Anita at Hungry Couple — June 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I love strawberries and basil together and they go great with vodka. :) I’ve never actually been on a picnic either but I think they sound better than they are. On the beach, there’s sand in your food. In the park, there are ants in your food. My style of picnic takes place in our garden, on our comfortable patio furniture with the cushioned chairs and the big round table with the lazy Susan in the middle under the shade umbrella. That way, there’s nothing in our food but food, the vodka can rest in the freezer and we’re very close to a clean, indoor bathroom. :)



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