Love and Olive Oil

Basil Lemonade

Basil Lemonade

I hereby declare this week Basil Week. And when you see what I’ve got in store for the rest of the week you’ll see why. Granted, it was a completely unintentional coincidence. Maybe I was having a subconscious butter rebellion during my first weekend cooking for myself and not for an editor, but basil was the center of my attention. No less than four of my culinary projects involved the bright summer herb.

And I’m totally ok with that.

So let’s kick off this celebration of ocimum basilicum with a refreshing beverage. A muddled twist on a classic summer refreshment. It’s sweet and sassy and bright and you’ll want to drink an entire gallon of it. It’d be great with a splash of liquor in it, too. Heck, maybe it’s time to set up a grown-up lemonade stand.

Take this opportunity to share YOUR favorite basil recipe! What do you do when that plant outside is growing out of control? What unique flavor combinations have you discovered for this humble herb? Do tell!

Basil Lemonade

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1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn


Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 45 seconds and stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.

Muddle together lemon juice and basil leaves, using a muddler or the base of a wooden spoon to crush the leaves and infuse the juice with basil flavor. Add 2/3 cup of cold water and sugar syrup, to taste. Pour over ice and enjoy.

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  1. This would also be fabby with orange or blood orange 
    Basil and orange is an underutilized combo.  

    Xo Lesley 

  2. this wood be perfect for St Paddy’s day – in fact they look so good, I shall. Will now serve up along side the Irish Milkshake. Thanks for the recipe!


  3. Oh! It’s like having the summer in your glass. It’s my first visit to your kitchen and I guess it won’t be the last.

  4. I am always looking for new ways to use up my basil and LOVED this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  5. i made this basil lemonade late sunday afternoon and added a bit on bombay sapphire .. it was absolutely heavenly… i would highly recommend trying this drink……

  6. This sounds so refreshing and delicious! We grow lots of basil and I am always looking for new ways to use it and this sounds great!

  7. This looks incredible. I recently had a basil mojito, and it was incredible–so refreshing and herbaceous all at the same time.
    I love basil and will sometimes eat is plain by itself! There’s really not too much better than the classic summertime combo of basil, tomato, mozarella and fruity olive oil. Yum! On a random note: in India, my aunt uses holy basil in her daily prayers and blesses some food along with it. For some reason, the combo of holy basil and sliced bananas has always been one of my favorite religious foods!

  8. Looks so refreshing! I love basil with everything but am wanting to making a basil and olive oil ice cream altely!

  9. HAHA – where I live, a grown up lemonade stand will get you thrown in the clink!

  10. Basil lemonade sounds interesting. I’ve always heard to basil going well in drinks, but never really thought of trying it myself. This looks gorgeous – I think try it out!

  11. I make something very similar to this, but I add strawberries to make it strawberry lemonade….add a little gin and you have the perfect summer cocktail!

  12. Funny :in regard to it being basil week. That’s what I was thinking, too. I was thinking about a foccacia with some pesto, some caramelized red onion and maybe some kalamata olives. That’s what I was thinking.

  13. This looks amazing!

  14. Yay! Basil week couldn’t have happened at a better time since I have basil up the whooza! Keep em coming!

  15. This may seem like a random question… because it is. Where did you get those fun straws?!

  16. I have basil coming out of my ears! Looking forward to basil week.

  17. Hummmm? Basil lemonade? I’m officially intrigued!

    I love basil. I love it’s smell. I love it in pesto. I love it in Caprese salads, and on Caprese sandwiches. I just LOVE it.

    I can’t wait to try out some basil recipes this weekend!

  18. Ha! I’ve been having a basil week here too…just made vinaigrette!
    And a green curry paste, and basil butter…but not lemonade…I will rectify that pronto.

  19. I was thinking only an hour ago about making basil lemonade after my success with lavender lemonade recently and now I have no excuse not to make it! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us for the rest of basil week :)

  20. The fact that you are having basil week just made me put on my giddy pants.

  21. How gorgeous is this?? I have a similar recipe on my blog, back when my photos were rather embarrassing. I love this lemonade and love how long the basil syrup lasts in the fridge. I kept a big jar in there a few summers ago and had it (and a Costco-sized bag of lemons) ready whenever I wanted a glass.

  22. This looks so refreshing! I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for basil week – I need some creative ways to use it ALL!

  23. Indeed, the perfect accompaniment to my Tomato Week []!

    I love basil, but I’ve been waiting for my lavender to bloom to make lavender lemonade. Shouldn’t be too much longer. Yay!

  24. I’m with Samantha, already loving basil week! I can’t wait to see what other basil goodness you have to share.

  25. I already love basil week!

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