May 7

Strawberry Basil Meyer Lemonade + A Giveaway!

in Californian, Drinks, Fruits & Vegetables, Giveaway, Travel

Fresh Strawberry Basil Meyer Lemonade

Who knew that I would taste the best lemonade I’d ever tasted in the middle of a strawberry field in Oxnard, California?  Random, I know, but those tend to be the best discoveries!  The Fuji family was invited by the California Strawberry Commission (CSC) on an “I Heart CA Strawberries” Blogger Field Trip with a group of bloggers and their families. We spent an amazing day at Bill Reiman’s strawberry ranch in Oxnard, California.

I Heart CA Strawberries Field Trip Bloggers

Photo courtesy of the California Strawberry Commission

The Fuji family in a strawberry field

Photo courtesy of the California Strawberry Comnission

Bill, a 5th generation Ventura County farmer who has been working in the strawberry industry since graduating from college and is currently Chairman of the CSC Research Committee, spent the day with us, answering our questions, and teaching us about the strawberry industry.

Learning about the strawberry growing process from Bill Reiman

California leads the nation in strawberry production, growing about 88 percent of our country’s strawberries. With our rich, sandy coastal soils, western ocean exposure and moderate temperatures, California provides the perfect environment for a year-round strawberry growing season.

California is strawberry country

About 400 family farmers grow all of those strawberries on 40,000 acres of land. That is less than 1% of California’s cropland, yet the industry creates nearly 10% of all California’s farm-related jobs. Amazing!

Picking California strawberries

Not only does the industry pack a punch, so do the berries that it grows. 8 strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange. They are low in sugar, a rich source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, and a great source of fiber, folate, and potassium.

Strawberry Field

We had a blast spending the day together, learning, and eating.  The Fujilings were in heaven, being allowed to traipse through the fields and pick as many strawberries, one of their all-time-favorite foods, as their hearts desired.

Bug in a strawberry field

Exploring the strawberry fields

The food was killer. Dinner blew my mind. It was prepared by Chef Tim Kilycoyne, executive chef and owner of the famed farm-to-table SideCar restaurant in Ventura. We were fed bruschetta with fava bean ricotta, house made strawberry mustard and arugula, braised chicken enchiladas with Swiss chard and a roasted strawberry mole served with a black bean and quinoa salad, a chocolate genoise with strawberry mousse, and a ganache and white chocolate dipped strawberry.

I Heart California Strawberries dinner

Oh, and a strawberry basil meyer lemonade. Holy guacamole was that lemonade good!  So good, in fact, that when we came home Bug started begging for me to make lemonade, making sure to emphasize that she wanted “red lemonade, like that red lemonade at the strawberry field.” So I turned around and begged the California Strawberry Commission if they would ask Chef Tim Kilycoyne to share the recipe. Thank goodness that passionate food people love to share, because now I have the recipe and have been given permission to share it with you! With May being National Strawberry month, I figured it would be the perfect way to celebrate, along with an awesome giveaway, the cutest strawberry tea kettle (details after the recipe below)!  This lemonade made with fragrant Meyer lemons and a strawberry basil puree will blow your mind. Happy drinking!

Strawberry Basil Meyer Lemonade

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Strawberry Basil Meyer Lemonade

Recipe courtesy of the Chef Tim Kilycoyne and the California Strawberry Commission

Makes 3.5 quarts

3 cups fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
6 cups cold water

1. Combine the lemon juice with the sugar and mix until the sugar has dissolved in a pitcher.

2. Puree the strawberries and basil in a blender until smooth, then add to the pitcher.

3. Mix in the 6 cups of cold water and serve.


National Strawberry Month Giveaway

Copco Strawberry Tea Kettle

There will be one (1) lucky winner who will receive this awesome Copco Strawberry Tea Kettle!

Rules: The giveaway will close Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:00 am PST. The giveaway is open to readers with a US mailing address. The winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. To enter, please follow the steps below. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Disclosure: My family and I were invited by the California Strawberry Commission to tour the strawberry fields of Catalinos Berry Farms.  I was paid a stipend to write about my visit.  The Commission is also providing the tea kettle for this giveaway.  All opinions expressed are my own.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Tieghan May 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm

such cute photos and what a delicious drink!


lindsay May 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Thanks for the drink recipe, and the kettle is the cutest.


Rebecca May 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

What a cute tea kettle!


Julie U May 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Thanks for sharing! Love the strawberry tea kettle!


Jayne May 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

LOL. In the composite picture of your daughters playing in the field, at first glance it looked as though there were 12 Fujilings running about. I had to do a doubletake. Haha.. Love strawberries so much. You are so fortunate to have a field so near you. :-)


Mika May 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm



winn May 8, 2013 at 12:11 am

cutest kettle!


Amy Tong May 8, 2013 at 12:18 am

What an adorable tea pot to giveaway. I just took the kids to pick their own strawberries over the weekend and they had so much fun.! :) Your pictures are gorgeous! I can’t wait to take the kids back to the farm for another visit.


[email protected] Dusting of Sugar May 8, 2013 at 1:40 am

I love strawberry picking…and that teapot! So cute and silly!


Mel C May 8, 2013 at 3:38 am

I love strawberries. I would love to serve someone with that teapot.


Joy May 8, 2013 at 4:13 am

That is the cutest teapot ever!


Ilana May 8, 2013 at 5:57 am

I love strawberries and that lemonade looks delicious.


Fuji Nana May 8, 2013 at 7:02 am

Oh MY that drink looks like just the thing for a hot day (or a cool day, or a snowy day, or a medium day). I have lemons, I have strawberries, gotta get me some basil.


Tina May 8, 2013 at 8:25 am

The drink looks so good!


Lizthechef May 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

Beautiful day for you – and your photo is a winner!


Fuji Papa May 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

The dinner looks and sounds amazing and we have decided we are going to make the drink.


Sarah H.P. May 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

Strawberries are my favorite fruit!!


Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie May 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

What a delicious sounding lemonade! I should’ve use meyer lemon for the strawberry lemonade rice krispies I posted today.


Correy Stoner May 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

I am DYING to try this lemonade recipe. Thank you for sharing!!!!


Michelle L May 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

That really is the cutest tea kettle! Perfect addition to my red & black kitchen. ;- ) The tour looks like it was a fun time. Glad the entire family was able to go.


nessa May 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Really cute-looking teapot!


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray May 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm

What a fun time!


Faith O'Hara May 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

I love strawberries and this recipe sounds great!


Iryna May 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I drink tea often and I love the teapot! Thank you for the beautiful story, pictures and recipe!


Therese May 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I love it and the recipe sounds delicious, too!


Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) May 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm

That strawberry kettle is adorable! And the lemonade looks fabulous– I love the combination of strawberries with basil.


Kenny May 9, 2013 at 6:37 am

Strawberry basil meyer lemonade sounds amazing!!!


Bo May 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm

That lemonade recipe sounds delicious! I will definitely have to try making that this summer.


Rin Matcha May 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I love Strawberries and that strawberry tea kettle look so adorable!


Janis May 9, 2013 at 6:04 pm

The cutest tea pot I’ve ever seen and I LOVE both strawberries and tea so would love a chance to win this. Also I luv the lemonade recipe and will be adding to my MommyBlogExpert Pinterest Page. Thx for the op to win this!


Blessie Nelson May 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

A truely adorable kettle to win!


Urban Wife May 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Such a darling tea kettle!


Michelle April 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Where do you find a container like that for your strawberries? It’s ceramic or something other than cardboard right? so cute!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Thanks Michelle! I bought it at Sur La Table last year. They had them in different sizes and colors, and yes, they are ceramic. I’ve also seen something similar at World Market and Anthropologie!


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