Kitchn's Delicious Links column highlights recipes we're excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites.
I'm obsessed with fancy lemonade — the kind with fresh ingredients and bright flavors that cools you off and looks good in your glass. It's the perfect refreshment to enjoy while you kick back and enjoy a shady spot in hot weather.
We are at the beginning of the year's prime lemonade-sipping season, and this sparkling cucumber-basil lemonade from Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table is definitely a step up from the standard stuff. The combination of cooling cucumber and tart lemon juice with the bright scent and color of fresh basil is just the thing to unwind halfway through the day, and invigorate yourself for the rest of it.
"Just the smell of this drink alone is enough to awaken me from my midday slump," the blogger behind The Broken Bread wrote.
It's absolutely gorgeous, too, and easy to make. All you do is blend cucumber with fresh basil, fresh lemon juice, water, and a bit of honey or agave nectar, then just add it to your glasses and top it with sparkling water. Blending the basil and cucumber until it's smooth is faster than mashing it up by hand, and it also means that the mixture becomes a beautiful bright green ombré in the glass. The end result is gorgeous, so you'll definitely want to play up the looks of the lemonade by adding a bit of garnish, like cucumber slices, lemon slices, basil leaves, or maybe a purple flower for contrast.
This would be amazing to serve at an outdoor lunch or party, or even just to enjoy sitting on the porch and looking out at the world. It's also an excellent mocktail option for anyone who is looking for something to drink that is bright and refreshing that doesn't contain any alcohol.
→ Get the Recipe: Cucumber Basil Sparkling Lemonade from Kale and Caramel via The Broken Bread