Lemon Basil! I discovered this in my CSA box and was so pleased! It smells amazing and tastes great in salads and as a water enhancer. It was also a pleasing addition to this refreshing lemonade. The combination of cucumber and lemon basil in this drink makes it a grown up lemonade, and I wouldn’t tell if you added a little gin (or vodka!) to it too.
Cucumber and Lemon Basil Lemonade
1/2 c. lemon basil leaves (you can substitute regular basil, mint would also be a lovely addition)
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 c. cold water
Place the sugar and basil in a small saucepan and muddle with the end of a wooden spoon to bruise the leaves and release the scent. Add the water and the sliced cucumber and turn the burner on medium low. Stir and heat until the sugar is dissolved and the water is warmed.
Allow to cool to room temperature, and steep for up to an hour for a stronger flavor.
Put the lemon juice and water in a pitcher and add the strained simple syrup. Start by adding about half and add more to your preferred level of sweetness.
Serve over ice. If keeping over night, add some lemon, cucumber, and basil to the pitcher to enhance the flavor. Enjoy!