If I were forced to choose a only one beverage to drink for the rest of my life, my choice would be lemonade.  (Margaritas would be a close  second, chocolate milk is probably third…)  Good old fashioned plain lemonade will always be my favorite, but I love plenty of flavored variations as well.  I’ve been happy as a clam with the plethora of strawberries around these days and using some of them in a fruity drink was only natural.  This recipe caught my eye one day and it just so happened that I had recently opened a bottle of sparkling water.  I bought a bag of lemons and whipped this up.  Only after I was pouring it into glasses did I realize I have actually made this recipe before.  This time around I actually used the sparkling water the recipe calls for rather than tap water.  It’s amazing what a difference that little bit of effervescence adds to the final product.  Last time it was pretty good but this time it was taken to a whole new level.  To me, a big pitcher of this lemonade seems like the perfect drink for summer barbecues and outdoor gatherings.

In case you are still planning your menu for Memorial Day, here are a few more crowd pleasing suggestions:
Teriyaki Burgers with Mango Pineapple Salsa
Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Cherry Tomato Salad
Classic Mac and Cheese
S’mores Cake
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

  • Yield 6-7 cups


For the strawberry syrup:
1 heaping cup chopped strawberries
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. cold water
Pinch of salt

For the lemonade:
1 cup very hot water
2/3 cup sugar
1¼ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
4½ cups cold sparkling water or seltzer


  • 01

    To make the strawberry syrup, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, water and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Puree until smooth.  Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible.

  • 02

    To make the lemonade, combine the hot water and sugar in a pitcher.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Mix in the lemon juice and water.  Stir in the strawberry puree.

  • 03

    To serve, rub a wedge of lemon or one of the spent lemon halves around the rim of a glass and then dip in sugar.  Fill with ice if desired and then lemonade.  Garnish with sliced lemon or strawberries.  Serve immediately.