Oh, the heat here in the forest is unbearable in July. I open the house in the night and hope that enough cooler air comes up the canyon to pull the blistering heat out of the house. I diligently close every window and door when I awake at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m., lest the scorching morning heat make its way back in. We survive the day without air conditioning and reflect on the winter’s snow wondering how it was ever possible.
And we all drink lemonade and ginger ale.
The flavors are great as they are but we do have a great time adding a touch of other complementary flavors to our drinks. This one is a great example. It is simply a traditional honey lemonade recipe which I describe here with a punch of basil.
Make this lemonade like you would your favorite but add a strong basil infusion as part of the water portion. Chop the fresh basil up to increase its surface area and allow more of the flavor of the leaf to make it into the infusion. Our household, from age 5 to 71, gave this drink a “thumbs up.”
Basil Lemonade Ingredients
- 1 heaping, packed cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 quarts of water
- 1 cup of honey syrup (1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup honey)
- The juice of about five lemons, about 1 1/2 cups
Basil Lemonade Steps
- Bring one quart of water to a boil. Pour over chopped basil leaves. Cover and let the water infuse for an hour (or even for as long as overnight).
- Strain out the basil leave and preserve the liquid. Cool the liquid in the refrigerator.
- Prepare your honey syrup by warming your water and dissolving the honey in it. If you are using a local raw honey (good for you), take care to keep the water temperature on the lower end, perhaps up to about 100 degrees, to keep all of the benefits of the honey intact. If you prepare the syrup in advance, store it in the refrigerator both for freshness and to cool it for your lemonade.
- Combine the basil infusion, syrup, water, and lemon juice. Adjust the ratios and take note of what works for you.