Strawberry Lemonade

Serves 4
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 4 cups ice-cold water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • - mint sprigs and whole strawberries for garnish

In a blender or food processor, purée strawberries; pour into a pitcher and set aside. In a small saucepan, mix 2 cups water and the sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat; chill completely in refrigerator (about 1 hr.). Stir in zest and lemon juice; pour into the pitcher with the strawberry purée. Add 2 cups water; stir well. Serve over ice with a sprig of fresh mint and a strawberry.