You know the day you can smell spring coming? When it has been too cold for too long and suddenly you walk outside and it just feels different? The first day you roll the windows down in your car?
I call it a Dave Matthews day, because that’s the kind of mood I’m in. I switch to my “Chill” playlist and need fresh flavors in the kitchen.
In the fall and winter, I drink milk, water, beer and wine. That’s it. I don’t drink juice, I don’t drink soda, I don’t drink coffee(!). Empty calories.
In the spring and summer I break my rules for lemonade. I cannot resist fresh-squeezed. I played around with the perfect ratio of lemons to water to simple syrup (and the ratio of sugar to water in that) and then I found this. Giada. You have truly outdone yourself. Many reviewers called for more water, and I got on board with that. But if you watch Giada make this, you’ll notice the glasses into which she pours the finished product are almost completely filled with ice. In my head, a happy place where Giada can do no wrong, she has the situation covered with her large, ice-filled glasses.
The basil simple syrup makes the lemonade (do you believe it?) even cooler and more refreshing. It feels like a drink someone would offer you at a spa. Definitely one worth sipping on the porch.
**Updated** Ummmmmm, this is pretty much destiny, folks! Now back to the show…
*adapted from Giada De Laurentiis…I did add more water, and only filled the glasses with a couple of cubes of ice. I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live their life. Lemonade is a matter of taste as well as personal convictions. You may enjoy different amounts of water, sugar and lemons. This was what worked for me.
- 2 C lemon juice (12-15 lemons)
- 4 C water, flat or sparkling (ooh la la)
- 1C water
- 2 C sugar
- 1 bunch basil, washed and stemmed
- lemon slices and basil sprigs for garnish (ups the glam factor)
First, you’re going to make basil simple syrup. Simple syrup is sugar that’s heated up with water until it dissolves. Basil simple syrup is sugar that’s heated up with water until it dissolves but also has basil added for infused flavor. Don’t you want to be able to say you made a basil infused simple syrup? You’ll be ready for Top Chef in no time!
Pour 1 C flat water in a small sauce pan, with basil and 2 C sugar. Stir, stir, stir, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the basil leaves. They’ve given you all they could.
From there, pour the lemon juice, simple syrup and water in a pitcher and give it a stir. Serve in cute little glasses with ice and a lemon twist. Get ready for spring.
*I am posting this under drinks as well as cocktails because it has serious potential.