Summer Refreshment: Sweet Basil Lemonade

We spend a lot of time talking about fun summer cocktails. What about something non-alcoholic that feels just as special (and, ok, would taste pretty good with vodka)?

As we've mentioned before, we often have a hard time using up a big bunch of basil. We had a basil lemonade at a restaurant recently, and it was such a nice change from plain lemonade or water.

We went looking for a recipe to make use of a cluster of basil in our fridge the we didn't think would last another day.

This is the recipe we used:
Basil Lemonade, from Gourmet

Our original plan was simply to muddle some basil into homemade lemonade, but the recipe called for making a basil-infused lemon syrup, which turned out to be much more flavorful.

The recipe for the syrup yields twice as much as you need for the lemonade, so you can either double the lemonade recipe (which wouldn't be too hard, since it only calls for 1 1/4 cups of freshly squeezed juice) or save it for mixing into cocktails.

This lemonade is sweet, which we prefer, but the fresh green flavor of the basil keeps it from tasting too sugary. Our glass was empty in about 12 seconds.

Related: Tip: Five Ways to Use Naked Lemons

(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)