Thursday, February 26, 2009

When life hands you basil, make Basil Lemon-Limeade!!

Pucker up! Basil? In Wha? Huh? Trust me!

Basil Lemon-Limeade

2/3 c simple syrup (see recipe below) or substitute Agave Syrup)
½ c fresh basil leaves
1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)
1/2 c freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 large limes)
4 c cold water
1 1/2 c ice
Extra lemon or lime slices for garnish

Place basil leaves and the simple syrup at the bottom of a large glass pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to bruise the basil leaves a little bit (also known as muddling). Pour in the lemon juice, lime juice and cold water. Stir. Add in ice cubes and lemon/lime slices. Serve icy cold with a basil leaf as garnish.

Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup is really great to have around for sweetening things liked Iced Tea, Iced Coffee or even cocktails such as my husbands favorite, The Mojito! Using simple sugar in place of regular sugar is ideal. Simple syrup will help you avoid the sandy texture that sugar gives your iced beverages when it doesn't melt properly. It is always made with equal parts sugar and water so you can make as little or as much as you like and store it in a container in your fridge. It lasts forever and you will always have it on hand for cocktail time!

1 c granulated sugar (you can use brown sugar as well and make Brown Sugar Simple Syrup)
1 c water

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Boil until all of the sugar has dissolved, approx. 3-4 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool completely. Store in your refrigerator, in a jar or any other airtight container.

TIP: Infuse your syrup with things like lemon, basil or even vanilla bean by steeping the ingredient in the water while its boiling. The syrup will take on a wonderful flavor and be super fun to add to cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages like iced tea.

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