Basil Lemonade

"In my quest to find recipes to take advantage of the bumper crop of basil I have right now, I came across this one found in the May 2003 issue of Sunset magazine. This is very refreshing! It's especially fun if you have lots of different varieties of basil available to you."
photo by Kim D. photo by Kim D.
photo by Kim D.
Ready In:




  • In a 1 1/2 to 2 Qt glass bowl, combine basil leaves and sugar.
  • With a wooden spoon, crush leaves with sugar until thoroughly bruised;
  • add water and lemon juice,
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes;
  • Taste and add more sugar if desired.
  • Pour through a strainer into ice-filled glasses.
  • Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil.
  • *Note:The type of basil you use will contribute to the'personality' of this drink.
  • Dark purple basil tints the lemonade pink and has a milder flavor than green varieties.
  • Lemon basil adds a lemon-drop essence.
  • Cinnamon and Thai basils make this more spicy.

Questions & Replies

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  1. What a 5-star delicious recipe! I'd never heard of basil lemonade before, but thought I'd give it a shot. I doubled the recipe and got the batch good & cold; the end result was fantastic! A very magical & refreshing drink. Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing this one! :)
  2. Made this today for Dad who is sick and has a very bitter after taste on his tongue (not that you guys really needed to know that, but you will see why...pls read on). I used thai sweet basil, and man was this good....I had full use of my tastebuds and this was to die for...but the absolute compliment is this! Dad loved it!!! He found it really refreshing...and he really enjoyed the taste though his tastebuds are exactly normal!!! And Judy thank yoU!! He said that the tea helped with his tastebuds, and his tongue felt normal after that. Thank you for helping dad!! Dad said give the lady 100 stars!!
  3. I like this drink and I have heaps of sweet basil and Thai basil in my garden. Good concoction for a tropical summer!
  4. I agree with both the former reviewers of this recipe. This is a wonderful refreshing lemonade and one that is not too sweet as well. I used fresh green Indian basil leaves from my garden to make this. We've loved every sip! Thank you so much. I'll be making ALOT of this now on;-)
  5. A perfect recipe for summer basil. Tastes refreshing, almost like a mint lemonade. Great drink to serve at parties!



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