Combine strawberries and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside.
In a small, lidded pot, combine 1 cup water, remaining 1 cup sugar, the lemon rind and basil over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cover, remove from heat and steep 10 minutes. Strain and cool.
In a pitcher, stir together strawberries, lemon juice, lemon-basil syrup, 2 cups ice and 2 cups cold water. (For an adult tweak, replace 1 cup of the water with 1 cup vodka.) Fill 8 glasses with ice and pour lemonade into each. Garnish with extra strawberries and basil, if desired.