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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It is pretty refreshing. I made a half-recipe and added lemon balm and lemon mint since my kitchen garden needed some pruning back anyway. It's not the transparent pink of the picture but it looks just fine.
This is a great way to use any leftover purple basil. We enjoyed it the day we made it, but was a bit tart so the rest stayed in our fridge for awhile till we threw it out. Probably better for parties.
Like the flavor; it's quite refreshing because it's not too sweet. the color is a little more muddy than the picture shows, so it's not particularly appetizing to look at, but tastes & smells delicious. We added a little mango rum & it added a perfect amount of sweet, too.
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