This basil lemonade is the most refreshing and delicious twist on a classic nostalgic summertime drink, perfect for all those hot days ahead!
When you think of a summer drink, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Hands raised if you said lemonade, because that’s the first thing I always think of (I know my hand shot straight up!)
Lemons are so brightly colored, one can’t help but think of the bright flavors and tart flavors that the wonderful citrus fruit has when squeezed and turned into a drink.
[Tweet “Cool off with this delicious basil lemonade from @sweetphi”]
When I was growing up, as soon as the weather turned warm, my sisters and I were sent out to play. With the sun shining, we would spend hours outside until my mother called us in for refreshments that always included glasses of lemonade.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized my mother’s genius: Hydration is key to keeping cool during the summer, and what better way than with lemonade?
Lemonade is a universally nostalgic summer beverage, but taste preferences are very personal. Some like it tart, some like it sweet, some like it best with other flavors. That’s where basil comes in -fresh basil added to lemonade complements the tart lemons with a smooth sweetness. It makes it fresh, it makes the flavors really pop!
Also, there’s something special about having a pitcher of lemonade all ready to go in one’s fridge. A few weeks ago my husband and I had been working on planting our little garden (we have a raised garden bed in our backyard and I have a worm compost in the basement that I use when we plant the garden) and after doing work outside all morning, we came inside and I made us these lemonades, they were so refreshing! I love adding fresh herbs to the lemonade, and while I’ve tried adding mint and other herbs, it’s definitely the basil that is my favorite – and with only 3 ingredients, it’s perfect for this weeks’ Five Ingredient Friday.
- 6 lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 cups water divided
- 4 to 6 large basil leaves
- 2 cups ice
- Juice the lemons; you’ll want about 1 cup juice.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup water and cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
- Place basil leaves in a large pitcher and add ½ cup of the lemonade concentrate from the saucepan. Muddle a little (use back of a wooden spoon if you don’t have a muddler) so that the basil leaves break. Pour in remaining concentrate and remaining 7 cups water. Cool in the refrigerator or add ice and serve immediately.
- To serve, pour glasses of lemonade over ice.
Looking for a menu of cold foods perfect for hot summer days? How about this basil lemonade along with watermelon salsa, Mexican street corn salad, three bean and steak salad and strawberries and cream icebox pie!