Strawberry and Thai basil lemonade

22 Jun

Strawberry and Thai basil lemonade

Strawberry and Thai basil lemonade

This could potentially be my last full summer with the boy. Potentially. This time next year I will be in the swing of it (I hope) and he will be in nursery.

This time last year I took him to pick berries in our local fruit picking farm ten minutes down the road. He was wearing a little white t-shirt with a red heart on it and it grew the colours of the season throughout the hours. Sadly the fruit flies had attacked the crop of strawberries but the blackberries were in abundance. At not even a year and half old he chattered away to me but had not cracked the concept of picking the fruit to take home, so he made repeated attempts at sticking the fruit back onto the shrubs. How does time do this to us? I remember where I had parked, the exact spot, like it was a few weeks ago. The pram wouldn’t open properly because I had had accidently wedged a pack of nappy wipes in the bottom tray and I took multiple bottles of water to douse the berries with, just in case he wanted a taste.

We picked gooseberries to make chutney with and raspberries that decorated my breakfast porridge until the winter kicked in. We made blackberry, lychee and apple crumble.  We made a lot of memories that I wish he could hold onto and relive, but he is so young. The memories are mine though, the baby is gone and the toddler will too soon. But the memories will always be mine and I won’t have the guilt, because I have done my best so far and I know that. All the swimming, cuddling, water play and splashing, the shopping trips and chatting over fruits and vegetables, cooking together, soft play, the park, the play dates the trips on the train to London…all of it…they will always be mine to hold.

This year, fortunately the strawberries were not predatory to any pests and I was bouncing with joy when I found alpine strawberries, in all their floral tasting glory, decorating the borders of my garden this year! They have light, lavender like taste and are utterly sweet without so much of the latent tang. It is time for a fresh start and a sweet one I hope, much like this recipe for strawberry and Thai basil lemonade. Not only does it look pretty and alluring, it’s curiously sweet, sour, fruity and herby essences are pretty darn sexy. It is true. Sexy is good in a drink, do it.

Ingredients to serve 4

3 cups water

200g strawberries washed and hulled

½ cup sugar

About 15 fresh Thai basil leaves

The juice of three large lemons


  1. Chop the strawberries into quarters and then combine them with the lemon juice, water and sugar, mix well and then heat the mixture on a low-medium flame in a non-stick pan.
  2. Warm the ingredients through until the sugar has dissolved but don’t boil the liquid as the strawberries will start to lose their essence.
  3. Blend the strawberries with the liquid until it’s a smooth liquid and then add the Thai basil leaves and allow it to reach room temperature before popping it in the fridge to cool.


39 Responses to “Strawberry and Thai basil lemonade”

  1. Karen Burns Booth June 22, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Beautiful beverage idea and I saw the berry picking photos on Instagram and loved them!

    • Deena Kakaya June 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Thanks so much Karen! I love a pretty and refreshing drink x

  2. Sally June 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Gorgeous pic. The memories are yours and such precious ones. I’ve tried to embrace each phase of my daughter’s lives. They are big teens now and about to leave home. We do laugh about the past but I treasure the way the are now too. No regrets. Lovely post

    • Deena Kakaya June 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      Isn’t it wonderful that ‘no regrets’ is something we can say about the most precious young people in our lives? Of course I have a long way to go, but to say that so far gives me a lot of peace.

      Thank you, I blush at the early pics I have shared on this site! Xx

  3. Selma's Table June 22, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    You will be surprised what he will remember – my nearly 17 year old always manages to surprise me when he says ‘remember when…’ he can go back to when he was a little bubba – the glorious, shining, apple of my eye…enjoy this time – it is so precious- and Deena, you are doing a wonderful job…

    • Deena Kakaya June 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      Thank you so much Selma! Your apple is so clever xx

      • Selma's Table June 24, 2014 at 10:09 am #

        Clever but a huge PITA at the moment. Knows it all and keeps coming home very, very late – I am feeling like the mother who failed but then remember what I was like at 16/17! He started work experience yesterday in a law firm – can’t believe where the time has gone!

        • Deena Kakaya June 24, 2014 at 10:17 am #

          Ha! Even my two year old can be a huge pain in the bum, it can only get worse! X

  4. Joanne June 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    This lemonade sounds so refreshing! And i’m sure your son will remember all these fun times you’re having together!

    • Deena Kakaya June 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Thanks Joanne! It is refreshing, and yes I really hope so..whether as an actual memory of just a feeling of happiness x

  5. greenmackenzie June 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    This looks delicious and so refreshing, and luckily I have strawberries and Thai basil growing in my garden this year 🙂 great combination Deena, and a lovely back story!

    • Deena Kakaya June 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      You have both these ingredients in your garden? I love that! I have strawberries but now am tempted to grow Thai basil, your garden must smell gorgeous! X

      • greenmackenzie June 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

        The garden is smelling delicious at the moment, but I have to confess most of my Thai basil is in the green house under the tomatoes and the cucumbers…interspersed with Italian basil…..all these plants love heat and moisture so it’s perfect.
        I do have a clump I planted into my herb bed outside, and the scent as you brush past is gorgeous 🙂
        It germinated really easily from seeds, so if you like using it I would give it a go Deena.

        • Deena Kakaya June 25, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

          goodness your garden is busy with edibles! I must sort that green house out x

  6. Rhonda Sittig June 23, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    Bright and beautiful!!

  7. duodishes June 23, 2014 at 4:06 am #

    Very fragrant. There’s something about a pretty drink that also appeals to the nose.

    • Deena Kakaya June 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      And to the eye 😉 thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. X

  8. themuffinmyth June 23, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Yum! I love strawberry lemonade but I imagine that the Thai basil takes it to a whole new level. I’m pretty sure there are still local strawberries in our markets, so I’ll have to take advantage while I can!

    • Deena Kakaya June 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi Katie! Exactly that-Thai basil gives it a beautiful accent. Let me know if you try it out x

  9. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy June 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Fantastic photos and great idea for a refreshing drink.

    • Deena Kakaya June 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks Dannii, I’m so pleased that the pics are getting better x

  10. mjskit June 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    On Thursdays when I go to the Growers Market I always buy a basil lemonade. It is SO good! She doesn’t use strawberries, but I really, really like that idea. Thanks!

    • Deena Kakaya June 23, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      I’m so glad that you like it! I wouldn’t have thought to put these ingredients together before , especially Thai basil but somehow it just works! X

  11. matchamochimoo June 23, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Usually people will like to add mint with strawberry to make drink, but haven’t think of the basil, but I think it will be a good combination. Especially, the Thai basil, they get more fragrant!

    • Deena Kakaya June 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Yes that’s what I’ve found, it’s delicate and has a lovely aroma and works so well with strawberries x

      • matchamochimoo June 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

        Tell you what, I will try it for my next BBQ, family gathering, very good idea! Thanks! 🙂

  12. EA Stewart June 24, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    Enjoy your summer for sure, but I know you and your boy will have many more good times to share 🙂 Just yesterday, my 11 year old “baby boy” begged me to go swimming in the ocean-he promised me it wasn’t cold. He was right, and we had the best time body surfing and boogy boarding together 🙂 Love this simple, refreshing, sexy lemonade!

    • Deena Kakaya June 24, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      Ah, what a beautifully sweet boy you have and what fun you both have together. I love that. Thank you xx

  13. kellie@foodtoglow June 24, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Savour the memories but you will still be making more, don’t worry! Your relationship will of course gradually change as he grows in independence (so scary but vital) but he will always be your boy. Besides, nursery will give you some breathing and growing space too. 😉 Lovely lemonade with the herbal hit of Thai basil. I too have some alpine strawberries lining a few paths. I will need to start picking them before various wild things do!

    • Deena Kakaya June 24, 2014 at 10:15 am #

      I do hope so Kellie, I was at an event the other day and they were saying that boys will just go one day and don’t have the sensitivity or loyalty of daughters. I sighed, I like to think it depends on how they are raised.

      Are you going to use your alpine strawberries in a sweet or savoury dish? X

  14. Johanna GGG June 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    lovely memories and lovely drink – seems that summer and strawberries are the stuff of childhood memories and I am sure you will share some of these with your son when he is old enough to be interested

  15. Claudia ~ Food with a View June 25, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    This looks and sounds so refreshing, Deeena! Great idea to combine strawberries and thai basil.

    • Deena Kakaya June 25, 2014 at 7:12 am #

      Thanks Claudia! It’s a surprisingly wonderful mix x

  16. emmabarrett1508 June 27, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    This looks so delicious. So happy to have found your blog. Stunning photos. Thank you for sharing. Emma xx

  17. nimmiafzal July 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Its really a refreshing summer drink!! Also loved to know about your li’l one..

    • Deena Kakaya July 4, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and leaving lovely feedback x

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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