Basil lemonade: Perfect for sunny patches, summer picnics, and chilled bottles of vodka.

It’s the weekend! Fantastic. And it’s sunny, which is making my headache and massive to-do list seem less like factors that could screw up my whole day … perhaps the sun will be to blame for a whole day of doing nothing, perhaps with a magazine, perhaps on the beach. Fortunately, the lemonade is ready to go, and my bike tires aren’t as flat as I thought. To the water!

Basil lemonade

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about four ripe lemons)
  • 1/2 juiced lemon, quartered

Juice lemons. Cut half of one lemon into quarters.

Over high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot, heat sugar, water, basil leaves, and quartered lemon-half until sugar has dissolved. Let stand five minutes, pour into a bowl or large measuring cup, and chill up to four hours.

Pour lemon juice into a pitcher, and strain sugar-water-basil mixture into the pitcher as well. Stir, and add three to four cups of cold water, to taste. Alternately, you could use sparkling water for fizz.

Serve chilled, with basil leaves to garnish. Is improved greatly by a generous splash of vodka and a patch of sunshine to sip it in.

8 thoughts on “Basil lemonade: Perfect for sunny patches, summer picnics, and chilled bottles of vodka.

  1. Love your post! Once I was in chocolate lab in pastry school, and our Swiss chef decided to make us lemonade during our class. It was amazing. I’ve never made lemonade and I keep meaning to. Thanks for the recipe, now I can finally get around to it. Btw, it’s HOT in NYC so this will come in handy.


    1. You made it to NYC! Congratulations! And yes, make this – it’s very cooling. I will be keeping the pitcher full all summer, which will come in handy if it ever gets hot here!


    1. It’s pretty mild, though distinctive. You can reduce the strength of the basil by chilling the syrup for less time, but if I was going to make a cocktail out of it, I’d let it soak longer. With vodka it’s delicious, and would probably also be great with a bit of gin.


    1. You’re quickly becoming my favourite non-me drunk. I used vodka. I almost always use vodka. We keep it cold so we can choose it over water, ’round here.


  2. We made this for a picnic this weekend. It really is just like sunshine in a glass, but a cooling, tipsy kind of sunshine. Thanks for the fantastic recipe.


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