Last summer I found this recipe for sparkling basil lemonade, and it was such an exciting discovery. I made it over and over again, especially because my husband kept requesting for it to be made. We had a garden in the backyard, and it was producing a lot of basil, so I was finding new ways to use it in the kitchen. This beverage is delicious and refreshing. I hope you think the drink is as addicting as Greg and I do. Enjoy!
1 cup water
2 cups white sugar
8 - 10 basil leaves - washed, patted dry, and stemmed
1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
2 1/2 cups of chilled Club Soda
To make the basil syrup, put the water, sugar, and basil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Use a fork to remove the basil leaves. Pour the syrup in to a 2 cup liquid measuring cup and allow it to cool slightly.
Pour the 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice in to a drink pitcher. Once the syrup has cooled a bit, combine it with the lemon juice in the pitcher. Put the pitcher in the fridge.
When ready to drink, top the pitcher off with the Club Soda. Sit back, put your feet up, sip, and enjoy!
Recipe Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network
NOTE: Sometimes getting the juice out of lemons can be a tedious process. I really love the 2-in-1 Lemon and Lime Squeezer, which makes juicing lemons a lot easier. If you don't have this handy-dandy kitchen tool, then you can try a couple of these tricks to get the most juice out of your lemons. Before juicing the lemon, put it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds and this will double the juice you get out when squeezing. You can also roll the lemon back in forth on a flat surface for several seconds to soften the lemon before squeezing.