Basil Lemonade

This recipe came from our friend Carrol Ekberg. She served this to us during one of the lunches we had at their house. It was so refreshing that I just had to try it at home. She emailed me the recipe which i believe came from Gourmet magazine. I served it in one of our family brunches and our grandson Nicholas raved about it (so did everybody else) and asked for the recipe!

Last July, I bought three potted basil plants from Trader Joe’s and now I have bunches of fresh basil that needed to be used. (I can only make Thai Chicken Basil so many nights a month before my taste buds demand I cook something else, although Matt will probably enjoy having that dish every night. ) Anyway, I made this lemonade when Carlos, Rodney and Ka Nestor were here visiting a week ago. Our lemon tree is full of huge, ready-to-be-picked lemons so it was just perfect!

Basil Syrup

4 cups fresh basil packed (top half part of a bunch)

4 cups water

1 cup Splenda (the original recipe called for 2 cups white sugar)

9 strips of lemon zest (about 4 inches long)

1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium pan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

2. Let stand at room temperature for about an hour and then transfer to an airtight container. Chill.

3. Strain syrup through a sieve or strainer, pressing on solids before discarding.

Note: This syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days covered.

Basil Lemonade

2 cups basil syrup

1 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups ice cubes

2 cups water

Stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Pour into individual glasses with ice cubes and garnish with basil leaves and lemon zest. Enjoy!

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