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Basil Lemonade

Ahhh, so refreshing! Homemade lemonade on a hot summer day is the best. Basil isn't just for pesto you know!

Basil Lemonade

Makes about 6 cups

2 cups basil lemon syrup (see below)

2 cups cold water

2 cups ice cubes

1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice

Garnish: fresh basil sprigs; lemon zest strips

Stir together all ingredients in a large pitcher, then pour into tall glasses half filled with ice.

Lemonade, without ice, can be made 3 hours ahead and chilled, covered.

Basil Lemon Syrup

Makes about 5 cups

4 cups packed fresh basil sprigs, with stems

4 cups water

2 cups sugar

9 (4- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest

Very roughly chop the basil and stems. Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at room temperature, covered, 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Strain syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.

Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 5 days.

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