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I’ll be the first to admit I lean toward lazy when it comes to cooking. I would not have made this recipe but my talented culinary daughter, Lorna, was not intimidated by the amount of lemons that needed zesting and dove right in.

This is a fresh minty lemonade with a wonderful basil taste. I recommend preparing double batches ahead of time and freezing it undiluted in ice trays so you have it on hand at all times to enjoy!

Ingredients needed to make the simple syrup:

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
30 strips of lemon zest
4 stems mint- the more, the better I say!
20 basil leaves-(about two bunches)

To make the simple syrup:
Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zest off of lemons until you have 30 strips, making sure to only get the yellow part. Add the zest along with the sugar, water, basil and mint into a med pot and bring to a simmer (all this lemon zesting is pretty much where this recipe lost me.

These are not my hands. All credit for the actual zesting and the photos goes to Lorna! Good thing I had so many children so I could enjoy yummy recipes without all the hard work :-)).

Take the syrup off the heat and let the flavors get all infused together for about an hour (make sure you use that word infuse…it sounds more exotic, doesn’t it?). It was at this stage in the preparations that I snuck into the kitchen and nabbed several tablespoonfuls to add to my iced tea. Yum! I recommend it!


The next step in the lemonade adventure is to find a man with strong hands or use a lemon juicer to squeeze all of the many lemons and limes you need!

For the lemonade:
4 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice-approx 20-25 lemons
3 limes-juiced
16 cups cold water (1 gallon)

Last but not least – combine all ingredients, add water and garnish with sliced lemons, limes and mint leaves. Don’t forget to share your new delectable recipe with the piranhas/siblings that have been hovering over you as they smell the minty/basily/lemony freshness!

This makes a little less than 2 gallons. It won’t last long!