Roasting the strawberries may seem like an unnecessary step, but trust me when I say it creates the best rosy-red syrup for this fresh summer beverage. You could substitute bottled lemon juice but for a beverage that depends on fresh ingredients, I recommend going to the trouble of juicing them yourself.
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup water
2 cups fresh Lepp’s strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
6 cups water or sparkling water or club soda
1 cup strawberries, sliced for garnish
To make the strawberry lemonade: In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup sugar and water to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400°F. Place sliced strawberries onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Toss well, arrange on one layer and roast for 10-20 minutes, until soft and bubbly. Transfer strawberries to a bowl and mash them with a fork. You can also use a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth.
Pour the pureed roasted strawberries into the sugar water. Add lemon juice and stir well.
Pour strawberry lemon mixture and cold water or sparkling water into a large pitcher. Stir well, add ice and additional strawberry slices. Serve the strawberry lemonade over ice cubes with fresh strawberry slices for garnish.