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fizzy basil lemonade

August 12, 2011

I get so depressed when I see people drinking powdered lemonade in the summertime.  Indulge, people!  The real thing cannot be beat and is not much trouble to make.  It’s not like making fresh-squeezed OJ, in which case you would definitely need a juicer or a very strong, tireless set of man-hands.  Real lemonade is actually quite simple because you don’t need all that much lemon juice.  For one big pitcher, I’ll say 4 lemons tops.  No fancy equipment, just one small cheap tool called a reamer which will allow you to juice 4 lemons in under 2 minutes. Oh, you don’t have one?  You don’t think it’s worth the trouble?  Yes it is.  Because you’ll also use it to make salad dressings for dinner guests and fancy cocktails for your honey.  Mine was $5 and you can get yours here.

So my mother-in-law was visiting last weekend and we spent saturday in Plymouth, checking out the Mayflower II and itty bitty Plymouth Rock (it is sooo tiny!).  When we finally got home, we were parched from walking around in the August heat all day.  I decided the most refreshing course of action was to whip up an icy pitcher of Lemonade.  I do mine a little differently in that I use sparkling water instead of still.  I think the slight bitterness of the mineral water cuts some of the cloying sweetness from the syrup.  I also throw some basil in the mix which gives the beverage a vibrant, summery hue.  Enjoy.


1 c fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)

1 c sugar (in our house we like turbinado, but to each his own)

1 c tap water

4 c sparkling mineral water

fresh basil leaves (as few as 4 and as many as a handful depending on your preference)

Boil 1 c water on the stove. While the water heats, ream the lemons and set aside.  Once water boils, turn off & Add 1 c sugar. Stir syrup until sugar dissolves completely.  Combine lemon juice and syrup in a pitcher.  At this point, I take 1 c of the sparkling water and throw it in a blender with the basil leaves.  If you don’t want the basil flecks in the drink, you can strain it out.  Add basil water to lemonade.  Now pour in remaining 3 c of sparkling water and chill.  Serve on ice & garnish with lemon slices.

citrus reamer
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