Basil Lemonade


Perhaps I hadn’t been paying attention. But it suddenly seems that — all at once — every foodie magazine and television show has a Basil Lemonade recipe.

It seems like an odd combination. While I like both, this isn’t a “you got chocolate in my peanut butter” home-run fusion.

But the hype got to me. The result is … meh. Essentially, it tastes like you’re drinking lemonade near a frangrant basil plant. The basil flavor isn’t really there, just the scent. Other than novelty, I’m not sure I see the point.

My favorite lemonade recipe uses ReaLemon (a splash of vodka doesn’t hurt either).

Basil Lemonade (from Slowgrownproduce.com )

(Note: I doubled the amount of sugar and lemon juice in the recipe below; before that, I felt the drink was too bland –LR)

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

In a 1 1/2 to 2-quart measure or bowl, combine 1/2 cup rinsed, lightly packed fresh basil leaves and 3 T. sugar. With a wooden spoon, crush leaves with sugar until thoroughly bruised. Add 4 cups water and 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved, l to 2 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour through fine strainer into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with springs of fresh basil.

You can make the lemonade up to a day ahead; cover and chill. Makes: 4 1/2 cups, about 4 servings.

Grade: C+

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Categories: Culinary Oddities, Drinks, Grade Range: C- to C+

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4 Comments on “Basil Lemonade”

  1. July 31, 2006 at 8:23 am #

    I was hoping you had just posted a fab way to use of some of my huge-normous pot of basil.

  2. July 31, 2006 at 8:33 am #

    Pity about the no-go 😦 But frankly, I love plain home-made lemonade so much that I don’t think it can be improved upon! Mmmm, lemony goodness!

  3. July 31, 2006 at 10:47 am #

    Emily: Pesto! I made this recipe last summer but haven’t gotten around to doing it again — try it; it’s great!For more basil-featured recipes, try: Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Zucchini Parmesan Bread, Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta, Simple Tomato & Basil Salad, Basil Garlic Butter (scroll down), Sweet Grilled Onion & Tomato Salad, Panzanella and last but not least, Big Teeth’s (Giada) Lemon Spaghetti.Ellie: isn’t lemonade fabulous??

  4. August 1, 2006 at 8:13 am #

    Fabulous? Methinks more along the lines of righteously (sp?) kick-ass! But then again, I’m a sucker for anything with lemon in it 😉

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