Local Basil Lemonade

What could be more thirst quenching on a hot summer day than a mason jar full of homemade lemonade filled with ice? There’s just something about the taste of lemonade that lets our body and mind know that it’s summer. Something about the sweat dripping off the cold class and the smell of sweet lemons that naturally refreshes us.

With the abundance of local basil in Virginia right now, especially the harvest from Victory Farms, mix up your traditional lemonade recipe with some fresh basil leaves for a taste that will soon make it’s home on your palate.

Ingredients

2 cups of freshly squeezed organic lemon juice (8-10 lemons) is usually a safe number, but feel free to add more or less.

Fresh Basil simple syrup (recipe below)

3 cups of cold or sparkling water

Lots of ice cubes. If you want to get creative, make a few trays of ice cubes the night before and freeze basil leaves and lemon zest inside.

Fresh basil leaves and lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Basil simple syrup:

1 1/2 cups raw cabe sugar
1 cup water
2 cups lightly packed local basil
1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)

Directions

Combine the water, sugar, and basil in a small saucepan and heat at medium-high until the liquid is clear and sugar granules are no longer visible, about 7 minutes. If using lemon zest, add to the syrup once it’s off the heat. Allow to cool, then strain out the zest and basil leaves.

Now mix lemon juice, simple syrup, and water in a pitcher and serve in glasses filled with ice.