A few weeks ago, I ordered a strawberry basil lemonade at Gather in Park Slope -- 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. —Merrill Stubbs
Put the sugar in a heatproof bowl or cup and pour 1 cup of boiling water over it. Stir to dissolve and let cool.
Combine the strawberries with the basil and 1/4 cup of the sugar syrup in a blender. Puree until smooth.
To make the lemonade, fill a glass with ice and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree, 1/2 cup cold water, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar syrup, depending on how sweet you like it. Stir well and serve right away!