In this recipe, basil is crushed with sugar to release the oils. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, process the basil, sugar, and about 1/4 cup of the water in a food processor or blender.
4 cups water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup loosely packed purple basil leaves (about 1/4 ounce)
6 tablespoons sugar
4 cups ice
4 purple basil sprigs
How to Make It
Combine 4 cups water and juice in a large bowl. Place 1/2 cup basil and sugar in a mortar; pound with pestle until a paste forms. Add sugar mixture to juice mixture; stir until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Place 1 cup ice in each of 4 glasses. Pour about 1 cup lemonade into each glass; garnish each serving with 1 basil sprig.
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