Basil Lemonade

James Carrier

Add flavor, color, and fragrance to this summer-inspired lemonade drink by choosing different varieties of basil - such as 'African Blue', 'Cinnamon', or 'Pesto Perpetuo'. 

Yield: Makes 4 1/2 cups; about 4 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 44
  • Calories from fat: 0.0%
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Fat: 0.0g
  • Saturated fat: 0.0g
  • Carbohydrate: 12g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 0.4mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rinsed, lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • sprigs of fresh basil

Preparation

  1. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart glass measure or bowl, combine basil leaves (see notes) and sugar. With a wooden spoon, crush leaves with sugar until thoroughly bruised. Add water and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour through a fine strainer into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil.
Note:

All basils add fragrance to lemonade, but colored and scented varieties contribute extra personality. Dark purple basils tint the lemonade a pretty pink but have a milder flavor than green varieties. Lemon basil adds a lemon-drop essence. Cinnamon and Thai basils contribute spicy overtones. You can make the lemonade up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

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