When ice water doesn’t quite quench your thirst, is there anything better than a tall glass of freshly made lemonade? Store bought or pre-made lemonade just doesn’t taste the same. Making it fresh, from scratch is easy and worth the minimal effort. Plain lemonade is great, but here are 3 different twists on regular lemonade that takes it over the top.
Simple, straightforward lemonade is always delicious, and there’s an easy way to remember how to make lemonade. All you need is one part of each, therefore you can make any quantity you like.
- Simple Syrup
- Fresh Lemon Juice
To make the simple syrup, take equal parts of sugar and water and heat until the sugar is dissolved. For example, one cup of sugar and one cup of water equals about 1 1/3 cups of simple syrup.
If you want your simple syrup sweeter, you can use two parts sugar to one part water. I find it easiest to put the sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer it over a low temperature until dissolved.
There are many ways to bring additional flavor to your simple syrup by adding an herb to the mixture while it simmers.
Basil or Italian Lemonade
This recipe, Basil or Italian Lemonade is, without a doubt, the family favorite. By adding a bunch of fresh basil to the simple syrup, it adds a refreshing, unique taste to the lemonade. The basil flavor and fragrance is infused in the simple syrup.
Actually, you could add various things to any simple syrup~~ginger, lavender, mint, thyme, rosemary, geranium, lemon grass, lavender, or rose~~embellishing that flavor to your simple syrup. Don’t worry about making too much. This can be used for other beverages or cocktails to take the flavor up a notch.
Simple syrup can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. After the syrup cools, strain out the basil. Mix the lemon juice, water and basil simple syrup together. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon and sprig of basil.
~~Basil Lemonade Recipe~~
My family’s 2nd place favorite, is Strawberry Lemonade. Place 2 quarts of fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree. You can also use frozen strawberries.
Strain the puree (I used a fine mesh sieve) and discard the seeds. Simply, mix the puree with the lemon juice, sugar and water and you have this beautiful, refreshing lemonade.
Note: if you want to dissolve the sugar vs. the simple syrup method, take the 1 cup of sugar and dissolve it with 1 cup of water. When you add the remaining cold water, remember to deduct 1 cup from the 8 cup quantity.
Another refreshing version of lemonade is using cucumbers, which are plentiful this time of year. However, you will need a juicer (which we have but rarely use). I did try making this with a food processor, but it does not liquify the cucumbers. Or perhaps you can muddle the cucumber in the bottom of the glass and liquify it as best you can.
Hopefully, these recipes will inspire you to make some fresh lemonade to enjoy in August! Happy Tuesday, my sweet friends!
If you enjoy this post, please share or save on Pinterest.
- 2 cups basil simple syrup recipe follows
- 2 cups cold water could use sparkling water too
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice about 12 to 15 lemons
- Garnish with lemon peel strips and fresh basil leaves
- ice cubes
For the Basil Simple Syrup
- 1 bunch fresh basil sprigs washed and stemmed
- 1 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- Mix the basil simple syrup, water, and lemon juice. Add the iced cubes
- Pour into glasses with or without ice.
For Basil Simple Syrup
- Bring basil, sugar and water in a medium saucepan, simmer stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cool, strain the simple syrup and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.
Fresh Strawberry Lemonade
- 2 quarts Strawberries equals approx. 8 cups sliced;
- 6 large lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 cups cold water
- Place trimmed strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree. Strain the puree and discard the seeds.
- Slice the lemons in half and squeeze each into a large measuring cup. Remove any seeds. You should yield approximately 1.5 cups of juice.
- In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, sugar and strawberry puree. Stir in the cold water and serve over ice.
- 1 part simple syrup See recipe below
- 1 part lemon juice for this recipe 2 cups freshly squeezed juice
- 1 part water for this recipe 2 cups
- 1 part cucumber juice 2 cucumbers juiced = 2.5 cups
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- Juice the cucumbers. Mix with the simple syrup, lemon juice and water. Serve over ice.