Recipe: Sweet And Simple Basil Lemonade

As they say, when life gives you lemons … well, you know the drill. Turn this classic warm weather drink into something gourmet and high-class by focusing on basil flavors. Basil might seem a bit off for a lemonade recipe, but it functions similarly to mint when crushed and coupled with sugar, lending a fresh and quirky taste to the mixture. Cool off on Memorial Day with this super simple recipe … after the jump!INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup raw cane sugar (easier if in granular form; I only had cubed which I crushed), plus extra to coat rims of glasses
  • 4-5 large basil leaves
  • Water or seltzer to taste
  • Crushed ice
  • 3 oz. vodka (optional!)


  1. Break up basil leaves with your fingers, then grind with the sugar with a mortar and pestle. (Tip: to get a nice, mushy paste, add a few drops of water.)
  2. In a jug, add sugar basil mixture, squeezed lemon juice, and cold water or seltzer to taste. For a kick, add vodka.
  3. Wet rims of short glasses with a lemon wedge, then dip them in crushed sugar to get that pretty, crystallized edge. Serve over crushed ice.

Serves two to three people, Depending on how thirsty you are.