Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

My father-in-law and I both have a love for fruity beverages.  (Non-alcoholic, of course.)  I started realizing this in college.  You see, growing up, it was a special treat for us to get a Clearly Canadian Blackberry drink.  They were pretty rare to find.  And expensive.  I remember when various guest speakers would come to our church, we would take them out to eat at this restaurant at The Holiday Inn.  (Totally weird that we would eat there, I’m just now realizing.  I guess that’s where the speakers stayed and it was most convenient to eat there?  Actually…come to think of it…I remember seeing other folks from church there too.  I guess our restaurant options were more limited back then.  Hey- it was a small town!)  Anyway- every time my sister and I got to join our parents in hosting guests, we each were allowed to get a Clearly Canadian (probably to keep us quiet and happy haha).  Then there was the summer that my best friend and her family invited me to go on a road trip to Canada with them.  Clearly Canadians were available like Milk and Honey in the land of Canaan there.  Oh, but not in the States.  No, no.  Until… I met my sweetheart.  I went home to visit him and his family and they took me to this exotic foods grocery store called, Jungle Jim’s, in Cincinnati.  As we strolled up and down the aisles, I saw it as if a beacon of light was shining over top…Clearly Canadian! I shamelessly stocked up.  When we got home, Dad saw my bounty and began to drool.  He had forgotten about it, but instantly had a craving for it.  That following February just before my birthday, they came down to Virginia for a visit with none other than a crate of Blackberry Clearly Canadian.  I knew my in-laws and I were going to get along juuuuuuustttttt fine after that.  (Actually, I knew way before that!)  So anyway…Clearly Canadian, Izze, Sparkling Lemonade…Dad and I love the stuff.  This past Memorial Day, I decided to use my bounty of strawberries that we had picked with my sister-in-law and her family to make some Strawberry Lemonade.  I’m pretty sure that Dad and I could’ve polished off the jug by ourselves.  If you’re looking for a refreshing, delightful, in-law pleasing beverage to serve, this is it, folks.

Reach For:

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP grated lemon peel
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
2 cups cold sparkling water or club soda
Ice

Directions: 

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium pot.  Reduce heat and simmer as you stir, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Stir in lemon peal and lemon juice.  Remove from heat and let cool completely. Strain into a pitcher. In a blender, puree hulled strawberries and then stir into lemon mixture.  Chill.  Stir in club soda or sparkling water and pour over ice when ready to serve.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Recipe Source: Emeril Lagasse | Food Network

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