Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sparkling Basil Lemonade via BHG

     The Wife found a punch bowl and set of cups at a garage sale years ago and it has sat quietly in a cabinet since the day of purchase. On several occasions she has threatened to use it, but never had until now. We were having a party for our 10th wedding anniversary and she was determined to find a way to use the punch bowl. She searched around and found a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. The original recipe called for jalapeno slices, but she figured that might be a little off-putting for our guests so she made an executive decision to replace them with lemon slices. It was the right decision. The basil and lemon made for a refreshing and delicious drink that benefited greatly from the addition of vodka! She did a double batch and we were only left with maybe a pint after the party. This recipe will definitely be made again. As always, any changes and notes are in blue.
Sparkling Basil Lemonade
via Better Homes and Gardens
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1-1/2 ounces) (we used a combo of lemon basil and regular basil)
  • 2 1 liter bottlesclub soda, chilled
  • 2 cups lemon juice (we used bottled lemon juice)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, sliced* (omitted, replaced with thin lemon slices)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Vodka
  1. For basil syrup, in a large saucepan combine water, sugar, and basil. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain syrup and discard leaves. Cover and chill syrup for 2 to 24 hours (totally forgot how long the syrup needed to chill. It got thrown in the freezer for about an hour)
  2. For lemonade, in a very large punch bowl combine chilled syrup, club soda, and lemon juice. Serve over ice and garnish with jalapeno slices (lemon slices in our case) and fresh basil leaves.
Good times!

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