Basil-Infused Sparkling Lemonade

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It is hot. Right now, weather.com is telling me it’s 97 feels like 111. It is 82 degrees inside of our apartment because the A/C can’t keep up. Bleh.

If you can ignore the weather, one advantage of the summer is the abundance of fresh basil available. It’s especially nice when other people grow it and you get to use it, as was the case with this basil we received from my mother-in-law. :)

Anyway, lemonade is the quintessential summer drink, and basil my favorite summer herb, so I combined them into a fancy drink for you.

Basil-infused simple syrup:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup fresh basil, well-packed
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is clear. Remove from heat.
  2. Allow simple syrup to cool. (It doesn’t need to be room temperature, but it shouldn’t be steaming.) Place basil in a large container with a lid, pour simple syrup over the basil. Cover and refrigerate. Allow basil to steep around two hours. Remove basil and return simple syrup to the refrigerator until ready to use.

(Makes ~3 cups)

Basil-infused sparkling lemonade:

  • 2 cups basil-infused simple syrup
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups sparkling mineral water or club soda
  • ice cubes
  • fresh basil (for garnish)
  • lemon slices (for garnish)
  1. To make individual glasses: Fill a tall tumbler with ice. Add 1/4 cup simple syrup and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Top with 1/2 cup sparkling water. Stir well. Garnish. Repeat with remaining glasses. Serve immediately.
  2. To make a pitcher: Mix simple syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water in a pitcher. Stir well. Pour into ice-filled tumblers. Garnish. Serve immediately.

(Makes 2 quarts, serves ~8 people)

If you hadn’t bothered to do the math, the basic ratio for the lemonade is 1 part simple syrup:1 part lemon juice:2 parts sparkling water. Scale up or down to suit your needs. As you’ll notice, I left you with some extra simple syrup to play with. My suggestion: basil mojitos. I will also note, you can make a great cocktail by spiking the lemonade with whiskey. (Or probably just about any other liquor, but I’m only vouching for whiskey.)

The simple syrup and lemon juice can be mixed ahead of time, but don’t add the sparkling water until you’re ready to serve, otherwise you’ll lose the fizzyness.

The simple syrup can be infused for longer or shorter periods depending on your taste preferences. The lemonade had a very subtle basil flavor once everything was mixed. I would probably let the basil sit a bit longer next time. The other point to keep in mind is that the longer you steep the basil, the darker your simple syrup will be, which in turn may affect the color of your lemonade.

This recipe is also being shared in Full Plate Thursday.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


Comments

  1. What a great idea! I’ve never had a basil infused drink, but it sounds wonderful. We got some relief from the heat starting yesterday. I hope you did too.

  2. I hope you give it a try. If you can use mint in a drink, it probably works just as well with basil. It’s a nice way to change things up a bit.

  3. Hi Kalinda,
    Well it is 107 and climbing here today and I could sure use a nice refreshing glass of this awesome drink. I have basil and mint and am going to try both, can’t wait to cool off. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week. Have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

  4. Oh dear, that’s hot. I suppose there’s a reason we don’t live in Texas.

  5. Kristen Stelzer says:

    So coincidental to see this idea— Just last week I was trying to revamp a summer pie (with a gluten-free ginger cookie crust) and I decided to try lemon and basil figuring they would work nicely with the ginger. It was good, but when I make it again I need to go heavier on the basil. I’ll definitely be trying the lemonade.

  6. Ooo, a pie with lemon, ginger and basil. Sounds like something I would love to try.

  7. Congratulations Kalinda!
    You are featured on Full Plate Thursday! You are welcome to pick up your Red Plate. Hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

  8. Aww, thanks Miz Helen! It’s always exciting to have a recipe featured.

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