Two-Basil Sparkling Lemonade


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One of the most common herbs is used in an uncommon way here--to flavor a tangy lemonade. If you grow one of the hundreds of flavored basil varieties, now's your chance to use it. We suggest pairing cinnamon, lemon or opal basil with the sweet basil, but you can use another variety or a combination of basils.

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  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 1/2 C. water
  • 1/3 C. honey
  • 1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 C. chopped fresh cinnamon, lemon or opal basil
  • 3 Tbs. finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 C. fresh lemon juice
  • 10 C. plain or lemon-flavored sparkling water
  • 1 C. tequila, Pastis or dry vermouth, if desired Lemon slices Basil sprigs

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In medium saucepan, combine sugar, water and honey; mix well. Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add basil, cinnamon basil and lemon peel. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Strain; discard basil and lemon peel. Stir in lemon juice. In large pitcher, combine lemon juice mixture, sparkling water and tequila; stir gently to mix. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and basil sprigs.

Tip: To make individual servings, combine 1 part lemon juice mixture and 2 parts sparkling water.

Yield: 10 servingsĀ 

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