Basil Lemonade

I have been making basil lemonade for years now, it's a sweet, almost grassy flavored lemonade that is by far, my favorite summer drink.  I like this green lemonade so much that I grow three types of basil for the sole purpose of having the necessary ingredients on hand whenever I crave a cold glass.  This drink melds the aromatic qualities of sweet basil, with notes of mint, cinnamon and anise with the lovely tart taste of fresh lemon juice.  


Yield: Serves 4


  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, washed (lemon basil, purple basil, thai etc)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups water (divided, see Step 1)
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Garnish (optional)

  • 1 lemon cut into pieces
  • handful of basil leaves


  1. Place the basil leaves, sugar and 1 cup of water in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain basil water into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer to catch the solid basil particles so you have a clear liquid.
  3. To the pitcher with basil water add lemon juice, remaining 3 cups water and ice.  Add additional lemon and basil leaves to the pitcher.


We recommend serving this within a few hours of making it as both the lemon and basil have volatile and fragile oils which become more muted, and less flavorful, as they sit.