Saturday, August 13, 2011

Basil Lemonade



A couple of weekends ago, I was walking around the Main Street Farmer's Market in my town and the co-op was selling basil lemonade. Oh, goodness this sounded refreshing--at 7 a.m., it was already in the mid-80s, and by the time I was walking around the market, it was past 7 a.m. The heat index for the day reached nearly 120. I live in a part of the country where not everyone has air-conditioning because this type of thing doesn't happen. Oh global warming, you make the summers icky.

I walked up to the co-op tent (where I knew all the workers), ready to buy lemonade, only to be informed they'd already sold out. It wasn't even 11 yet and the market runs until 1 p.m. Sadness! Because I knew these workers, I made sure they were holding up okay in the heat and went on my way.

Basil lemonade isn't hard to make. I've made it before -- I just wanted the convenience of being able to buy a $2 glass while I wandered around the market making other purchases (namely salad greens. I'd come into a bountiful supply of produce from a CSA share, given to me by a friend who was going to be out of town).

There are two basic methods for making basil lemonade. If you live in a place where you can get a good supply of fresh lemons, I highly recommend you make lemonade from scratch, so you can have it as sweet or tart as you like (and let's face it, fresh lemonade is amazing). I don't live in such a place, so here's what I did.

Basil Lemonade
1 quart low-sugar lemonade
1/3 cup (or to taste) real lemon juice (mine came from a bottle, for convenience and cost-efficiency)
1/2 cup (or to taste) freshly chopped basil

Mix all of these ingredients together in a container large enough to hold everything and allow the flavors to combine for at least 45 minutes before serving. Serve very cold. Will keep for several days.
Cool and Refreshing. Especially served in a mason jar!

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