Earlier this week food writer and friend Addie Broyles tweeted her food revelation du jour: a splash of balsamic vinegar does wonders for basil lemonade. Thus my inspiration for basil lemonade was born. While the older three Littles are away at camp this week, Littlest and I are enjoying the relative quietness and time to do things sans older siblings. When I asked if she would help me pick basil to make a syrup for lemonade she assured me she knew exactly what to do.
First we collected about 4 cups of basil from Husband’s garden. Note: If you allow your three year old to hand pick each leaf of basil, this recipe will actually take some time. Plan accordingly. The trade off that your toddler will be making her first simple syrup will be well worth your patience.
Once we had the main ingredient hunted and gathered, making the syrup was very, well…simple.
Basil Lemon Simple Syrup
4 cups fresh basil (handpicked by toddler optional)
4 cups water
2 cups sugar (we use organic cane sugar)
zest of one large lemon
Zest the lemon with vegetable peeler so that you have nice large pieces. In a medium pot bring basil, lemon, sugar and water to a boil, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let stand covered for one hour. Transfer to a large mason jar, or sealable container, and refrigerate for at least one hour. I left ours to chill overnight. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh colander or sieve into a large bowl. With the back of a wooden spoon or using your hands press or squeeze all the liquid from the basil and lemon. Discard the solids. Pour back into the large mason jar. The syrup will stay fresh refrigerated for up to one week.
Voila! Basil lemon simple syrup. So simple even a toddler can make it.
We’ll use our syrup to make the Basil Lemonade tomorrow!