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A refreshing glass of purple basil lemonade quenches the thirst and celebrates summer.

Recipe: Purple Basil Lemonade

Basil and lemonade are two classic symbols of summer, so it seemed appropriate to make this Purple Basil Lemonade to bring the two together. It’s hot as heck out there, and lemonade makes everything better, right? Try this refreshing beverage over ice before summer fades.

The purple basil turns this lemonade pink without artificial colors, and imparts a floral flavor that can’t be beat. You can use whatever sweetener you like, just know it will affect the final color.

Basil lemonade ingredients
Organic cane sugar, lemon juice and basil are all that’s needed to make this refreshing drink.

Purple Basil Lemonade

by Joanne Weir for Cooking Light, July 2009


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed purple basil leaves (about 1/4 ounce)
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups ice
  • 4 purple basil sprigs


First, place the sugar and basil in a small bowl or mortar and pestle, and muddle until the color of the sugar turns purple and forms a paste.

Sugar basil mixture
Sugar turns purple as you muddle the basil

Next, pour the lemon juice and water into a separate bowl and add the basil/sugar mixture, stirring well until the sugar is dissolved.

Purple Basil lemonade juice and water
Pour water into the lemon juice to mix.
Basil lemonade mixed
Stir to dissolve the sugar and watch the lemonade turn purple.

Lastly, strain the mixture to remove the basil.

purple Basil lemonade strained
Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the basil out.

Pour into glasses with ice and top with a small sprig of purple basil. This recipe makes 4 glasses. Keep in the fridge for further refreshment late in the day.

basil lemonade finished
A refreshing glass of purple basil lemonade quenches the thirst and celebrates summer.

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