Summertime Basil Lemonade

The same night that we made the Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, I used some of the mounds of fresh basil that I picked from our herb garden to make this lemonade.

Does anything say summer like freshly squeezed lemons?  Bursting with tartness and balanced with a little sweetness, they are the ultimate thirst quencher in this, the all-american summertime drink.

As a child, we all probably poured some processed powder drink into a plastic jug to sell around the neighborhood at a homemade stand, but there is nothing like freshly-squeezed lemonade.

Start by making something called simple syrup, which is nothing more than equal parts of water and sugar.  I used one cup each of water and sugar and put them over medium heat on the stove.  You don’t want to boil this mixture, just heat it, stirring with a whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.

Then turn this off and let it cool into a nice, clear, sugary syrup.

Get 6 good sized lemons, cut them in half, and squeeze them into a small measuring pitcher.  You’re looking for about a cup.

Pour this into your blender with a handful of basil leaves.  I used roughly about ten leaves.

Turn your blender on high and let it blend for a minute.

And then pour it into a large glass pitcher, because lemonade demands a tall, cool, glass container.  If you’re fussy about floaties in your drinks, you can strain it as you pour.

I had a bad experience with car sickness and orange juice and pulp that left me with a bad case of anti-floaties in my drinks.

Needless to say, I strained mine.

Add in your simple syrup and stir with a wooden spoon.

Now, fill the pitcher with water.  I used about 5 cups of water on top of my syrup and juice mixture.

At this point, you might want to taste your lemonade and see what you think.

Not tart enough? Squeeze in another lemon or two. Not sweet enough? Make a little more syrup.  Too tart? Add a little more water.

I’ve found that the measurements I gave you are just about perfect for me, but everyone’s tastes are different.

Slice up a couple of lemon slices and float them on top and garnish with a sprig of basil.

Then sit back and enjoy the tastes of summer with a relaxing glass of tall, cool Basil Lemonade.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Summertime Basil Lemonade

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