Whip up this restaurant-fancy Basil Lemonade in no time with simple ingredients. Enjoy it as-is or elevate it even further by adding watermelon.
This basil lemonade tastes like summer in a glass!
If you love fancy flavored lemonades at restaurants but don’t love paying a premium for them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy this Basil Lemonade is to make at home.
Especially if you have a pot of basil growing this summer, this is the refreshing beverage you’ll want in your fridge at all times.
It’s simply an easy homemade basil simple syrup combined with fresh lemon juice and water. If you want, you can even add some pureed watermelon to take it to the next level and make watermelon basil lemonade.
Why you will love this basil lemonade recipe
- Bursting with flavor. The simple syrup made with fresh basil adds a subtly sweet and herbal flavor to classic lemonade.
- A restaurant-style beverage made at home for the fraction of the price. Make a whole pitcher for what you’d pay for one glass at a restaurant!
- Versatility. Enjoy it as-is, add watermelon, or even add some liquor to make it spiked.
Recipe for basil lemonade ingredients
- sugar – the main component of the simple syrup and what will sweeten the lemonade.
- fresh basil – you will need 1 cup of loosely packed fresh basil leaves to make the basil simple syrup.
- lemon juice – freshly squeeze it from real lemons, none of that bottled stuff!
How to make basil lemonade
- Make the basil simple syrup out of equal parts sugar and water, plus a cup of roughly chopped basil. Cook briefly on the stove just until the sugar is dissolved, and then transfer it to the fridge to fully cool before making your lemonade.
- Grab a pitcher and stir together the simple syrup, water and fresh lemon juice.
- Serve over ice in big glasses.
How to make it watermelon basil lemonade
To take this recipe to the next level and make it watermelon basil lemonade, you’ll need 3 cups of chopped watermelon.
Put the watermelon in a blender or food processor and puree it until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. We’ll only be using the watermelon juice here.
Just before serving the lemonade, stir in the strained watermelon juice.
How to serve lemonade with basil
Serve this drink in big glasses over lots of ice. Feel free to garnish with lemon peels, lemon slices or wedges, and fresh basil sprigs.
You can also add a few cubes of watermelon if you’re making the watermelon variety.
How to make a basil lemonade cocktail
To turn this refreshing recipe into a cocktail, you can add a splash or a shot of vodka or gin to each glass. Cheers!
Don’t forget the snacks!
Who doesn’t love a tall glass of cold lemonade with some salty snacks?
My favorite snacks to serve with this recipe are:
Basil lemonade storage
The simple syrup can be made and refrigerated up to 1 week before serving.
Once the lemonade has been stirred together, you can keep it in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Heads up! The basil flavor may intensify over time. Feel free to adjust the flavor with additional lemon juice or sugar if needed.
Home Chef Tips
- For a more pronounced basil flavor, muddle a few basil leaves in the bottom of each glass before adding the ice and lemonade.
- Experiment with other herbs like thyme (or try my mint lemonade recipe) for a twist.
Recipe for basil lemonade FAQ
Not really. Fresh basil leaves are recommended for their vibrant aroma and flavor. Dried basil won’t infuse the syrup as effectively.
You can, but it will change the overall flavor profile. You may need to taste and then adjust the sweetness if necessary.
Yes! The recipe card below makes about 2 quarts, which is 8 cups (64 ounces) of lemonade. Feel free to make a half batch if this is too much basil lemonade for you.
For the Basil Simple Syrup:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
For the Lemonade:
- 5 cups water
- 1-1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
To Make it Watermelon Basil Lemonade (optional)
- 3 cups chopped watermelon
- Make the Basil Simple Syrup: In small saucepan, stir together sugar and 1 cup water. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes or just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Let stand 20 minutes. Strain through fine mesh strainer; discard basil. Transfer to jar or covered container and refrigerate until fully chilled, up to 5 days.
- Make the Lemonade: In pitcher, stir together 5 cups water, lemon juice and cooled Basil Simple Syrup. Stir until well combined. Serve over ice. Makes about 2 quarts (without optional watermelon)
- To make it Watermelon Basil Lemonade, add watermelon to blender or food processor and blend until well combined. Strain liquid through fine mesh strainer and discard any solids. Before serving lemonade, stir strained watermelon juice into lemonade.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 35gProtein: 0g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients like watermleon or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.