Fresh Basil Lemonade

by Maris Callahan on June 24, 2011

You know what I’m good at? Making lemonade.

No, there is no analogy here, I’m not saying that when life hands me lemons I am good at turning it into a positive situation. Because I’m actually not. I am, however, good at literally taking the lemons from my fridge and creating a tasty, refreshing summer beverage.

[Related: I'm also not so great at photographing said lemonade but don't let that stop you from making it. I'm sure yours will look worlds prettier.]


Lemon and basil is such a good savory combination that I couldn’t stop thinking about how it would be in something sweeter. However, after an indulgent weekend followed by a baking spree that resulted in a cheesecake and a savory galette, I thought I should keep things a little lighter.

This is a great way to cool off or rehydrate, if you wanted to add some vodka to this to make it adults-only, I certainly won’t be the one to stop you.

While the basil infuses amazing flavor into the lemonade, I’m probably going to recommend that you not consume said basil – it won’t hurt you, but like the mint in mojitos, is mostly there for flavor.

Fresh Basil Lemonade

Adapted from Food Network

What You Need:

2 cups sugar
6 cups water
2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

How-To:

1. Make simple syrup. Place 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool.

2. Place lemon juice in a large pitcher, add remaining 4 cups water and 1 cup of the simple syrup or more to taste. Stir in mint leaves and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve over ice.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique June 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Basil + Lemonade. Love it!

Reply

sarah June 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I love basil and lemon together. It’s so hot here right now, and this looks so refreshing.

Reply

Beth @ DiningAndDishing June 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

LOVE basil – so i am certain i would love this too! And I love herbs so much I totally eat the leaves out of cocktails :) . <– weirdo.

Reply

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Mmm, that sounds so refreshing!

Reply

Erica June 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm

nom nom! You know, I don’t think I’ve ever actually MADE lemonade without using a powder (gross, I know…). This sounds so refreshing

Reply

Tracy June 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Perfect combination! I can’t wait to start getting fresh basil from our CSA so I can try this. :-)

Reply

marci June 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Hah, we have the same post today! Mine is with mint!

Reply

Shannon June 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

i have some meyer lemon juice that i stuck in the freezer this winter… and lemonade is a perfect use for it! love the basil addition :)

Reply

Donna June 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I love home made lemonade with REAL lemons. Basil is an addition I must try!

Reply

The Waspy Redhead June 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

So refreshing on hot summer days!

Reply

Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen June 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

So simple and refreshing! A dash of vodka wouldn’t hurt in there ;)

Reply

Caroline June 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I love the combination of lemon and basil. Homemade lemonade is so much better than the caloric store-bought lemonade with loads of sugar. Ha! Great suggestion to add a bit of vodka–I’m sure it would be delicious. :)

Reply

EA-The Spicy RD June 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Oh, yum! I recently made strawberry lemonade. Very refreshing too. I’m sure a dash of vodka would be nice in either one :-)

Reply

Daryl June 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Wish I had one right now

Reply

yummychunklet June 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Looks delicious, refreshing, and cooling!

Reply

Tessa June 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm

This sounds so good right about now. Just checked the temperature and it’s 106 degrees outside!

Reply

rebecca June 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm

awesome drink on my to do list

Reply

Heather @girlichef June 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Awesome…that sounds so good!

Reply

Maureen June 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Another success! Flavored lemonade just takes it up a notch and makes it fancy — even for family.

Reply

Greg June 24, 2011 at 7:37 pm

That sounds wonderful. I have so much mint, I’m always using that. I should take a break, or just make two different batches.

Reply

lisa @ smart food and fit June 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I always add mint to my drinks but I should try it with basil. I just planted some lemon verbana to give my drinks a different twist! Great combination!

Reply

Aggie June 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Ahhhh, lemonade. So summer so refreshing. I really love that you threw basil in this, would never think to do that!

Reply

Mena February 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm

That’s a wise answer to a tricky quetison

Reply

Roz June 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm

OOOH….this sounds sooo good. At the risk of sounding like a boozer….I bet some vodka added would make a really good cocktail for our weekly “Cocktail Sunday”! I’ve bookmarked this…
Have a great weekend Maris.

Reply

The Harried Cook June 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Yum! Sounds like some awesome flavors! Thanks for sharing :)

Reply

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

You know this is such a clever idea! Basil and Summer go together as well as lemonade and Summer! :D

Reply

Angela June 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I think your photo is lovely:)

Reply

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet June 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Your photos are making me thirsty and you just gave me inspiration for my lime-thyme!

Reply

Junia @ Mis Pensamientos June 24, 2011 at 11:13 pm

i’ve heard so much about adding basil to drinks, but i haven’t tried it yet!!! this looks fabulous!

Reply

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types June 25, 2011 at 5:52 am

Looks wonderfully refreshing – I’m going to grab a handful of basil at the farm! (And, I’ll probably give the vodka a try!)

Reply

Liz June 25, 2011 at 6:34 am

Your photos look darn good to me! Perfect summer refresher!!!!

Reply

Mary June 25, 2011 at 8:54 am

I’ve just finished making a pitcher of this. So far, so good! It is delicious.Doesn’t everyone have lemonade for breakfast? Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

Reply

The Slow Roasted Italian June 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

How absolutely wonderful. I have fresh basil and a few of the last lemons from my tree! Can’t wait to try this!

Reply

polwig June 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

WOW… that sounds so refreshing..,.. lemon/basil mojitos later ?

Reply

Nelly Rodriguez June 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

Lovee this combination! Simple and looks sooo refreshing!

Reply

Sanjeeta kk June 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

This look so refreshing, have a similar recipe at my blog with mint :) Glad to come here thru twitter.

Reply

Tanvi@SinfullySpicy June 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Basil makes everything divine- I want a tall glass right away to kill this scorching heat.

Reply

Nami @ Just One Cookbook June 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I love your confidence in making lemonade and I just jotted down for tonight’s dinner as I have some guests coming over. Great timing! Never added basil, but I like it sounds a little fancier than regular lemonade. ;-)

Reply

Sherilyn @ Wholepromise June 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

This looks and sounds so refreshing.

Reply

Reeni June 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Great idea to use up all the basil from my garden! Love it!

Reply

bellini June 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

This would certainly quench my thrist Maris!!! Loving this version!

Reply

Susan June 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I planted so much basil this spring. With basil I feel you can never plant enough. I would love to try some in this lemonade!

Reply

BakerbyNature June 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Your post made me laugh; I am also not so good with the lemon to lemonade situation when dealing with life. However, this I may be able to handle! Looks so refreshing.

Reply

Dishes of Mrs. Fish June 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm

This sounds so refreshing and perfect for summer entertaining!

Reply

Maria @ Scandifoodie June 26, 2011 at 12:18 am

Love how refreshing this sounds! I’ll have to save this for our summer months to come :-)

Reply

chopinandmysaucepan June 26, 2011 at 7:35 am

Geez, this is so simple and yet why dont more people think of adding some basil leaves to some homemade lemonade??? What a great thirst quencher, especially in summer!

Reply

Barbara @ Barbara Bakes June 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

I’ve never been very good at making lemonade. I see the secret is making a simple syrup first. I’ll have to give it a try.

Reply

Sawsan@chef in disguise June 27, 2011 at 12:51 am

Basil lemonade sounds heavenly..
will definetly try it soon as I have a basil bush threatening to takeover my kitchen

Reply

Shaina June 27, 2011 at 7:59 am

We made a strawberry basil lemonade not that long ago. Love the addition of herbs!

Reply

natalie (the sweets life) June 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm

normally I’m not a huge lemonade fan but I love basil and this combination sounds fabulous!!

Reply

Amber-Jean August 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

So hot here today, made this with a peach cobbler and impressed everyone. Thanks for the great recipe!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: