It’s July now, and by the rules of summer, all drinks must be refreshing and cold – unless you want to have a cup of hot chocolate in 30 C weather. Absolutely not. But if that is your preference, let me try changing your mind with this pretty in pink syrup,which blends strawberry sweetness with citrus tanginess. The special guest here is the basil which adds the refreshing summery element. Trust me, you will love it.
Ingredients (yields about 1 cup of syrup)
1 ½ cup of chopped strawberries (frozen or fresh)
¼ cup of lemon (size may vary, ¼ cup should equate to about half of a lemon)
4-5 basil leaves
½ – ⅔ cup of brown sugar or honey (depending on your desired level of sweetness)
A small pinch of salt
Combine your chopped strawberries and sugar in a pot. Leave the sugar to draw out the fruit’s moisture for about 15 to 20 minutes. Gently heat the pot on the stove at medium heat. Once the mixture has come to a boil, turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering, add the lemon juice and salt, stirring occasionally.
Once the mixture has thickened, take it off the stove and let it cool. Place the basil leaves in a mason jar or any airtight container. Once the syrup has cooled, pour it into the container. Make sure the basil leaves are evenly dispersed throughout the syrup to maximize flavour.
This syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to one and a half weeks.
That’s it. It is that simple to make and you can add it to lemonades, sparkling water, sweet tea, or sodas like Sprite. If you really must have a hot drink during the summer, perhaps consider a cup of green tea with this syrup. Sometimes, I shamelessly eat it on its own — this syrup is versatile! The best way for me to enjoy this recipe is to have it in a glass of cold sparkling water with a good book on the side. And ladies and gentlemen, that truly completes my summer dreams.