AHHH!! This may very well be my most favorite summer drink.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that basil is my favorite herb. As soon as the season changes I will be devoted to rosemary, but for now all I can think about is bruschetta and this basil lemonade.
I have a fairly hearty basil plant, but it cannot keep up with the demands of my summer cravings. I want it in EVERYTHING this time of year, but especially in my lemonade.
Whether you are a basil fanatic or not, you just have to get this herby lemonade a try.
The flavor of basil is subtle, but present and it adds the most lovely, herbaceous accent to an otherwise austere glass of lemonade.
Like most drinks, this one begins with a syrup. The basil syrup will increase in potency the longer it sits. I like to allow mine to rest for about 1 1/2 hours before straining out the leaves.
The cooled syrup is stirred into fresh lemon juice and water and the party can begin!
How refreshing does that look?
I cannot even tell you how much I love this lemonade. I have been making it every summer for years and it never gets old.
Happy Monday, you sweet things.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 heaping cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 5 cups filtered water, divided
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
Combine sugar and basil in a small saucepan and use the tines of a fork to press the basil into the sugar. Cover with 1 cup water and place over medium high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
Allow the syrup to cool completely, then strain and refrigerate until cold.
In a large pitcher, combine remaining 4 cups water, lemon juice, and chilled basil syrup. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably overnight. Serve chilled.
Cook's Note: I like to let this lemonade sit overnight because it gives the flavors a real chance to meld.