I finally broke down (or rather, my 10-year-old bender finally broke down) and bought a Ninja Ultima blender — seriously, best investment for the kitchen this summer. This thing doesn’t just blend, it pulverizes! Anything and everything I put in it!
Needless to say, I’ve been on a juice and smoothie kick the last few weeks. I’m not one of those green juice gals though. I love the fruits we’ve been picking from our garden (right now, our citrus and bananas are out of control) and the farmers’ market berries I’ve been buying every other week. I’m even making my own version of the Nutty Dang, my favorite smoothie from my favorite coffeeshop in Rincón, Puerto Rico. (In fact, that was the first drink I attempted in the Ninja… but with a heaping scoop of Greek fro-yo instead of milk.)
Most days though, I’m blending up baskets of berries to pair with the bottomless lemonade coming out of the backyard. Strawberry lemonade is my favorite, though you can also make this with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries, or even a mix of all. It’s the kind of drink you want to sip on a hot summer day and share with friends outside.
Fresh Strawberry Lemonade
Makes 10 cups (enough to fill a pitcher)
For the Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
For the Strawberry Puree
2 cups strawberries, halved or quartered
1/2 cup water
For the Lemonade
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 cups water
5 strawberries, thinly sliced lengthwise
To make the simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, and let cool.
Meanwhile, make the strawberry puree by adding the strawberries and water to a blender and pureeing until smooth.
In a large pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and remaining water. Pour in the strawberry puree and stir it all together. Add the strawberry slices and chill before serving.