clmA week ago if someone offered me a glass of Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade, I would have said: “sure, just hold the strawberry, basil and lemonade.”

But that was before my Independence Day weekend host, my dear friend Lynda, thought it would be great to make the Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade recipe she found in Country Living magazine.

I am not much of a mixed drink fan and prefer my bourbon neat, but I am always up for trying something new in search of a great “signature drink” for a party or event. The recipe for Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade seemed to be the perfect thing for a summer beverage and we were determined to try it out.

About the recipe for Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade from Country Living:

“Fresh, sweet strawberries and fragrant basil make this simple cocktail taste like summertime in a glass—it’s the perfect drink to serve during cocktail hour.”

Lynda had all the ingredients ready and we set out to try the recipe. We divided and conquered the work. Lyn took on the strawberries, I tackled the lemons, and we were on our way. We followed the directions to the letter – which was a challenge – as the ingredients list called for one cup of water – but the instructions called for more – we went for the more.

The two cups of sugar for the simple strawberry syrup was sticky – and we both commented that we may not like the end result as neither of us care too much for sweets. But we plowed on. Everything was fine – just some waiting for things to chill (although we had plenty of things to keep us busy like watching the quintessential summer movie from our childhood: Meatballs followed by What About Bob – the perfect summer Bill Murray double feature).

The straining of the syrup through the “fine mesh sieve” was also a challenge for us (we’re impatient) but it went well.

So the end result? The first sip was a refreshing treat as we toasted the holiday weekend and our beverage experiment. We agreed that it was too sweet and the first taste was clearly the bitters – which overtook the other flavors – a surprise with all the lemon and basil in the mix.

In the end we thought it was a fine drink – but we would like to experiment with making it less sweet by adding more water to the syrup and then dial down the bitters a bit.

A successful experiment that is definitely worth improving upon for the future.

Best of all, it was great to be with dear friends on a summer holiday weekend.

Find the Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade recipe from Country Living here.

Find all the great recipes and other tips for Country Living magazine here.