Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lemonade is one of my favorite drinks - especially in the summer! It's refreshing, free of corn syrup and carbonation, and is just a all-around good drink. Being the creative person that I am - and always putting a new spin on anything and everything - I am featuring my own new-and-improved version of this iconic drink by adding basil and mint to the mix. It takes lemonade to a whole new level! I keep at least two gallons in the fridge all summer (or year) long. It's delicious!

Lemonade with basil & mint:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup fresh mint, packed
1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
2 cups lemon juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
lemonade mix, enough powder for one quart of lemonade according to package directions
(I find that substituting in a little bit of the mix gives an extra boost of flavor while still getting that fresh-squeezed taste!)
13 cups water

Combine sugar, water, lemon zest, and half of the mint in a medium pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain mint leaves and zest from simple syrup.

In a gallon pitcher, stir to combine simple syrup, lemon juice, mint, basil, lemonade mix, and water.
Refrigerate overnight before serving. When I make this for myself, I like to leave the leaves flowing in the pitcher because I like to have the basil and mint in with my drink, but you can easily either strain them out or use a pitcher with a spout (like I used above) that strains the leaves as it pours.

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