Roasted Strawberry Mint Lemonade
Happy Labor Day weekend!
I’m currently at a B&B in Nova Scotia with my roommate (romance!), but I just wanted to say HI. What’s up? Want to make Roasted Strawberry Lemonade? And then put a bunch of booze in it? Eh? EH?!!! (I’m in Canada, remember.)
I’m going to assume you’re nodding enthusiastically at your screen right now. If you’re also screaming/crying with excitement like a One Direction fangirl, that’s very good news. In fact, that would be the appropriate reaction to this fabulous late summer treat.
This fanciest of pink lemonades is liquid gold, people. Sweet and tangy with refreshing mint undertones, it basically screams “PARTY TIME!!!” (or “summer soiree!” for those of you wearing your classy pants this weekend). Honestly, it almost makes me wish I had children because this stuff would absolutely kill it at a lemonade stand.
The magic, friends, lies in the roasted strawberry purée…
If you’ve never roasted strawberries before, that’s totally cool. It’s incredibly easy, and you know I love taking credit for introducing you to things. All you need to do is put some sliced strawberries in a baking dish, add a little sugar, and pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes. The berries become soft and unbelievably juicy while they roast, intensifying their natural sweetness beyond your wildest dreams. Total gamechanger.
While I’m all for making a batch of Roasted Strawberry Mint Lemonade and hoarding it for yourself, I’m pitching it as a foolproof choice for Labor Day entertaining. The simple recipe can be made in advance, is easily multiplied for a crowd, and as you can see, it’s a rather show-stopping shade of fuchsia. If you’re feeling festive, I highly recommend adding a healthy splash vodka or bourbon into the mix and serving it as your signature cocktail. People will go nuts, which is obviously the goal here—minimum effort, maximum compliments. Cheers.
Warning: The boozy version of this lemonade has affectionately been coined panty-dropping punch. Do with that what you will…
- ¾ pound fresh strawberries about 20 strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar divided
- 4½ cups cold filtered water divided
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice from about 5 large lemons
- 6 sprigs fresh mint
For Garnish (optional):
- Lemon slices
- Whole strawberries
- Fresh mint sprigs
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a shallow baking dish, toss the strawberries with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Arrange them in an even layer and roast for 25 minutes until the berries are soft, slightly darkened and juicy. Removed from the oven and let cool.
While the strawberries are roasting make your simple syrup. Place ¾ cup sugar and ¾ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Transfer your cooled strawberries to a blender or food processor (make sure you get all the awesome roasted strawberry juice in there) and purée until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher.
Add the lemon juice, mint sprigs, and remaining 3¾ cups cold filtered water to the strawberry puree and mix well. Stir in the simple syrup ¼ cup at a time until you reach your desired level of sweetness. (If your strawberries are very ripe, you may only need about half of the syrup! Save the remaining syrup for future cocktails.) Refrigerate the lemonade for about 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle.
To serve, pour lemonade into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with lemon slices, strawberries, and fresh mint for added fanciness. Now would also be the time to add vodka if you’re going that route...
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