Editors' Picks

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

June 21, 2013

In Cooking from Every Angle, we hear from our fearless leaders: Food52 co-founders Amanda & Merrill.

Inspired by her favorite neighborhood cafe, Merrill mixes up a refreshing Strawberry Basil Lemonade that's bright in both flavor and color. 

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I owe Michael Hoffman big time. He introduced me to Gather in Park Slope when it opened about six months ago. Gather is the neighborhood cafe we all dream of. Not only do they serve great coffee and pastries -- they also lay out a delicious, and ever-changing, spread of prepared dishes at both lunch and dinner every day. Their meatballs are tender and delicate, their macaroni and cheese is one of the best I've had, and their grain salads are an inspired lesson in textures. And let's not forget about their breakfast sandwich of sliced hard-boiled egg, kale and caper aioli on baguette.

Everything at Gather is great, but one of my favorite things about the place is the selection of fresh juices they offer every day. I first tried pineapple cucumber and mint, which was refreshingly unsweet. A few weeks ago, I ordered a strawberry basil lemonade -- it had a gorgeous blush and was also not too sweet. A perfect intro to summer. Last weekend I found myself with some extra strawberries and a wild tangle of basil in the herb boxes on my deck, so I attempted to recreate the lemonade. It takes all of 10 minutes, aside from letting your sugar syrup cool, and it just may be the star of your next party. Better yet, it's a good reason to throw one. 

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Adapted from Gather

Serves 8

1 cup sugar
3 cups hulled and quartered fresh strawberries
20 medium basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Ileana Kattengelll
    Ileana Kattengelll
  • zephyr050
  • AntoniaJames
  • fiveandspice
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


Ileana K. June 23, 2013
I can't wait to prepare this to my kids, I'm sure that they are going to love it!
zephyr050 June 21, 2013
Thank you! Can't wait to make some with local berries--now that there is a break in the rain and their intense flavor can shine again.
AntoniaJames June 21, 2013
Oh, goodness. I'm in love. Totally in love. With the tiny local organic don't-ship-well-so-we-get-them-all-to-ourselves Chandler strawberries in the market this month, you can be sure that there will pitchers full of this at the dinner party out on my deck this weekend. And my basil bushes are going crazy, so the timing could not be more perfect. Thank you so much! ;o)
Merrill S. June 21, 2013
You're very welcome!
fiveandspice June 21, 2013
This sounds absolutely perfect for summer afternoons and evenings! I so wish we had a good neighborhood cafe around here.