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Basil Lemonade


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 5-6 large lemons
  • 7 cups cold water
  • ice
  • fresh basil, to garnish
  • lemon wedges, to garnish


  1. In a medium pot, stir together 1 cup water and 1 3/4 cups sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until the sugar is completely dissolved, it shouldn't take more than a minute or two. Turn off the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heat-proof bowl, add the 1/4 cup packed basil. Use your hands to tear up the pieces. Use a wooden spoon to bruise the leaves against the bowl. Keep going until they are nice and dark. You want to get all that flavor.
  3. Pour the sugar syrup over the basil leaves. Put it in the fridge for about 2-3 hours or until completely chilled. The longer it sits the more basilicious it will be.
  4. Juice the lemons. Strain it through a colander to remove the seeds, but so that most of the pulp remains.
  5. Add the lemon juice, 7 cups of water, and ice to a pitcher. Strain the refrigerated syrup through the colander into the pitcher. Discard basil. Stir well.
  6. Serve with ice, fresh basil, and lemon wedges.