refreshing basil lemonade


What do I do when life gives me lemons? I make lemonade. Actually, basil lemonade to be exact.

basil lemonade
  • 4 cups packed fresh basil sprigs (top 4 inches; from a 1/2-pound bunch)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 9 (4- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1-1/4 fresh lemon juice
  1. Bring basil, 4 cups of water, sugar, and lemon zest to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at room temperature, covered, 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Strain syrup thorough a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids. 
  2. Stir together the syrup and the rest of the ingredients in a large pitcher, then pour into tall glasses half filled with ice.


  1. I'm curious, do you think that boiling the water will change the characteristic of the lemonade? Sugar changes drastically on a molecular level when you boil it in water, as water is undergoing a state change. Can you report back on what happens if you simply heat the water while taking caution not to boil it until all the sugar dissolves? Or using a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature of the water so that it is just below boiling point?


  2. Hmmm... I believe you are correct, that is the difference between sweet tea and iced tea.


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