The weekend was tedious with guests, one after the other and some staying over. Cooked, baked, cooked and cooked and Ro cleaned after my mess a zillion times and I have had enough of it...the cooking and cleaning bit. I hate it when my kitchen is in a mess and the wooden floor is dirty after my expedition and I have to clean it up even if I'm super tired. Same goes for dirty vessels. After over loading the dish washer, twice, we still had enough and more vessels to wash, which Ro gratefully agreed to do 'in a while' which turned out into a few hours and I was super pissed that I had dirty vessels in the sink. So i ended up doing the dishes with a vengeance and have vowed not to cook this entire week....Ro, go figure!
I love entertaining guests though...its good fun to have friends over. We drank, ate, shared old memories into the wee hours of the night and today morn dragged ourselves outta bed to start a rather pleasant week (weather-wise atleast).
This gorgeous drink perfectly complemented the weekend weather. I had to make use of the strawberry season and what better way than to make a pitcher of chilled, berry-licious lemonade spiked with some incredibly strong basil leaves. I also served it as a cocktail at night with a dash of gin and vodka...which, needless to say, did the trick:)
Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Makes about 5 to 6 medium size tumblers (loosely adapted from Martha Stewart's recipes)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice- 1/2 cup (juice from 3 large lemons)
Sugar- 6 to 7 tbsp (or according to your taste)
Water- 3 cups (approx.)
Fresh basil leaves- a handful (or less if you don't like it too strong)
Fresh strawberries- 6 to 8, hulled and halved
Vodka or gin- as required (optional)
Purée the sliced strawberries and basil with a hand blender. It should be smooth and the basil should be well chopped.
Transfer the juiced lemons into a large pitcher or bowl. Add the required amount of water and sugar and mix well.
Add the strawberry purée to the lemon mix and blend well using a wooden ladle. You can add the alcohol at this point, if using.
Fill a glass with ice cubes and top with the lemonade.
Alternatively, chill the pitcher in the refrigerator till you want to use it.
A tip: Before you juice the lemon, roll them lightly on the kitchen top, with your palm, which would apparently make the juices flow freely.