Basil Limeade

(Serves 2)

One of my favorite restaurant experiences was when I ordered a lemonade and was handed a glass of lemon juice and water, a shaker of sugar and a spoon. Once you get over the “what the heck??” factor, you realize that the amount of sugar in your lemonade is in fact a highly personal thing and nothing makes me happier than to be in charge of my own destiny, so I’ve preferred it this way ever since. In that spirit, feel free to vary the amount of sugar in this recipe to taste.

  • 1/3 cup of sugar, or more or less
  • half cup of water
  • juice of 4 limes
  • ½ cup of cold water
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • optional garnishes: lime slices, basil sprigs

In a small pan, over medium heat, melt the sugar in half a cup of water. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a blender (I used a magic bullet; it doesn’t have to be fancy), blend all of the ingredients (the sugar water, lime juice, cold water and basil leaves) until the basil is completely blended. Allow to rest for five minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and add enough cold water to make two tall glasses.

Serve over ice and garnish with lime slices and/or a basil sprig, if you like.

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