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