Summer is officially here in North Carolina! And it is HOT. I am talking rosy, flushed cheeks just walking to the car. (Texas people, you get this. I interned in Houston one summer, so hot!)
Anyway, lemonade seems just the fix on a hot day.
We are growing our first container garden and my herbs were ready for use. So I tried mixing lemons with basil and the result was amazing: tangy, spicy, a touch sweet. I used sparkling water but you could easily swap that will still water.
Sparkling Basil Lemonade (makes 2 servings)
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1 cup lemon juice (about 7 squeezed lemons)
Basil Simple Syrup (recipe below)
1 cup sparkling mineral water
Lemon and Basil for garnish
Basil Simple Syrup
1/2 bunch fresh basil (about 30 sprigs)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
In saucepan combine basil, sugar, and water an summer at least 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Crush the basil a bit with spoon while you stir. Cool 15-30 minutes then strain.
Mix fresh lemon juice, basil simple syrup, and sparkling water in pitcher. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Mix with ice and serve with garnish.
Squeezing the lemons is fun and easy, our 5 year old daughter helped me with most of it.
The simmering basil syrup gives a wonderful aroma. I crushed the leaves a bit as I stirred to ensure a basil flavor. I also lessened the sugar from the original recipe. It was still delightfully tangy and sweet.
My favorite sparkling water is San Pelligrino (affiliate link), or if you prefer regular lemonade just swap sparkling water for filtered still water.
This lemonade would be perfect to share on a hot day at a backyard barbecue, picnic, birthday party or baby shower. More ice the better.
The basil does add tang, but our kids loved it!