Monday, July 26, 2010

Basil Lemonade with Basil Lemon Simple Syrup

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine via Epicurious.com
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Makes about 6 cups

Here's another use for all the lovely basil that's available right now. I used green basil that I purchased at Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Market and then added a bit of our own purple basil from our garden for color. Basil and, of course, plump lemons are found at Lost River Market & Deli. We really liked this refreshing use of basil and lemon, two flavors that pair beautifully. Make a couple of batches of the Basil Lemon Simple Syrup to have on hand for when you want add a little something special to your cold drink after working in your garden.

2 cups Basil Lemon Simple Syrup (recipe below)
2 cups cold water
2 cups ice cubes
1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients in a large pitcher, and then pour into tall glasses half filled with ice. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs; lemon zest strips (optional) Lemonade, without ice, can be made 3 hours ahead and chilled, covered.

Basil Lemon Simple Syrup
Makes about 5 cups

This recipe makes enough for several batches of vodka gimlets or lemonade; any left over would also give a nice hit of flavor to a glass of iced tea. One reviewer said that she freezes any extra basil lemon syrup in ice cube trays to mix into other drinks later.

4 cups packed fresh basil sprigs (top 4 inches; from a 1/2-pound bunch)
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
9 (4- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at room temperature, covered, 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Strain syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids. Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 5 days.

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