In a blender, process the water, sliced strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice and zest in batches until smooth. Strain the berry seeds if desired. Pour mixture into a pitcher; stir in the ginger ale. Serve in chilled glasses over ice. If desired, garnish with strawberries.
There are plenty of ways to customize your strawberry drink. Add sliced peaches or raspberries in the blender with the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice for even more fruity flavor. Try substituting some of the plain granulated sugar for an infused simple syrup with basil or rosemary for more fresh flavor. If you'd prefer a more natural sweetener, agave syrup or honey would work as sugar alternatives as well. If you're not a fan of ginger ale, feel free to use club soda; or on the flip side, ginger beer will provide even more ginger flavor. Other simple and delicious punch recipes will help inspire you to make this strawberry cooler recipe your own.
Can you make strawberry drinks ahead of time?
Feel free to whip up this recipe ahead of time. A pitcher is nice to have on hand during particularly hot spells in the summer. However, know that the ginger ale may lose its carbonation the longer it sits out, so keep that in mind as you decide when to prep the recipe.