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Basil Lemonade

Ben Ashby

When you need a sweet, little, afternoon pick me up grabbing a cold glass of lemonade can really hit the spot. Now you might think that basil and lemons sounds a little weird together because I did too, at first. But I assure you, it is a most magnificent combination when it comes to lemonade.

If you only want a small hint of the basil use something close to 13 leaves, but if you love it like I do, use 20 or even more leaves. Lemonade is one of my favorite drinks to prepare, especially in the summertime. Squeezing the fresh juice out of the lemons makes your house smell incredible, especially combined with the basil.

I always have to sneak a taste when making the syrup because it’s so good! Add lemon slices to your pitcher or glasses and garnish with extra basil and lemon zest. You could even try substituting the basil for mint for a different flavor!

Basil Lemonade

1 1/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5 large lemons)

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

6 cups cold water

15-20 basil leaves

1 extra lemon for garnishing


Bring the 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil in a small pot and remove from heat. Add the sugar and stir until well dissolved. Crumble and roll the basil leaves in your hands to release their oils. Add them to the water/sugar mixture along with the lemon zest.

Let it sit until cool. Pour the cold water and lemon juice in a pitcher. Strain the contents of the pot, discard the basil and lemon zest and add the liquid to the pitcher. Stir well, pour over ice and garnish with lemon zest and basil leaves.

Basil Lemonade photography, styling, and recipe by Rikki Snyder. Find more from Rikki on her website and on Instagram—@RikkiSnyder.