Basil is so versatile – it can be used for so many things besides Italian food! Here, we use it for a simple syrup to make lemonade. For more about why basil is best in the summer, and a caprese salad recipe, read Basil Rules in the Farm Fresh Now! section of our site.
2 c basil leaves (two small bunches or one big bunch)
1/2 c sugar
1 c water
1/2 c lemon juice
2-6 c water
Put the sugar, water and basil in a pan and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a minute, then remove from heat and cover. Let basil steep for an hour to four hours, depending on desired intensity. Then, transfer the simple syrup to another container, straining out the basil and adding the lemon juice.
Finally, combine some of the simple syrup with extra water and ice to taste in a glass or pitcher and enjoy.
Makes about 1 1/2 c simple syrup. This recipe is very easy to scale up or down and adaptable – for example, you could use mint in place of the basil, and lime instead of the lemon.