Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fresh Jalapeno-Basil Lemonade

Sean has made this a couple times this summer, and it's a nice refreshing drink that also pairs wonderfully with gin or whiskey.  I like it because it's not too sweet, and the jalapeno and basil flavors really shine along with the lemons.  He used a home-made ginger simple syrup as the sweetener, and you can always adjust the amount to  your own taste depending on how sweet you prefer your lemonade.  A regular simple syrup would work just as well, but I do recommend a syrup over using plain sugar because you don't have to wait for it to dissolve.  Optionally, add a few berries to the bottom of your glass before serving.

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil, leaves only (green or purple)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • water (and ice for serving)

Yes, that is an elephant tea pot in the background...
Combine the lemon juice, basil, and jalapeno in a large pitcher (ours is 2-quarts).  Gently muddle the mixture with a wooden spoon, pressing against the sides and bottom of the pitcher to pull some of the flavor out of the jalapeno and basil.  

By removing the seeds, the jalapeno flavor really comes through without being too spicy.  

Next, add the simple syrup and stir to combine.  Let this mixture sit for about an hour, refrigerated, to absorb the flavor from the basil and jalapenos. 

Add 5-6 cups water (until the pitcher is almost full) and taste.  Add more simple syrup or lemon juice if needed. You want it to be a little strong since you will serve it with ice.  Let it sit in the fridge for several hours before serving.  

When you are ready to serve, stir the lemonade before pouring into ice-filled glasses.  Add a couple berries for some extra sweetness if you have them on hand.  Enjoy!

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