James Carrier
Makes 4 1/2 cups; about 4 servings

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'. 

How to Make It

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.

Chef's Notes

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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Ratings & Reviews

tcalhoun6556's Review

August 25, 2013

marieamber's Review

February 08, 2012
Delicious!!! Made this lemonade this past summer with left over basil and it is now my new favorite summer drink!!! ~ Though I left the basil in there for an even stronger taste and nice presentation with cut fresh lemon :) Everyone loved it!