What would Summer look like if it could be transformed into a liquid and poured into a glass? After I made and began to photograph this sparkling strawberry lemonade, I began to believe that I had a nominee for the "Summer in a Glass" award that exists only in my head ☺. At least in the "June" category, anyway.
That is the dreamy side of this beverage. The fact of the matter is that this drink tastes really good. The kids will love it poured over ice. The adults will love it mixed with vodka while appreciating a painted sky summer sunset. Mix it up and drink in the season.
*Important Note*---If not serving to a crowd, keep the lemon syrup-strawberry mixture and the sparkling water separate until ready to drink so as not to lose desired fizziness.
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
makes about 7 1/2 cups (without vodka)
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 strips (3 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches) of lemon peel, no white pith
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pint (12 ounces) ￼fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
3 cups cold sparkling water
Lemon wedges for garnish
Add up to 1 cup of vodka to taste
In a medium saucepan bring the water, sugar, and lemon peel to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely, remove lemon peel.
Meanwhile, in a blender puree the strawberries and lemon juice. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the solids. Pour the strawberry puree and cooled lemon syrup into a pitcher. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled.
When ready to serve, add the sparkling water and vodka if using, and stir well. Pour into glasses filled with ice, garnish with lemon wedges and serve. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from foodnetwork.com