inspiration:the subtle warming of the weather in Savannah that makes me long for lazy afternoons reading books or napping in a hammock
description:tart, sweet, acidic, with a mellow peppery undertone from the basil
what you need:a small pot, a pitcher, a fine mesh strainer, a knife, a juicer(manual or electric), a 2 C measuring cup, a vegetable peeler
I’ve been on a mission ever since the weather started giving the slightest hints it was going to get warmer to make lemonade. Unfortunately, I was also grappling with the idea that lemonade in inherently a summer drink, and who was I to make something like that in the middle of March? I should also mention that I have a basil plant sitting on my front porch that, essentially, is mocking me. Even though it is lush and full and begging to be used, I have been avoiding it like a bad ex-boyfriend. Admittedly my gardening skills are somewhat lacking, and while I have managed to grow a healthy crop of strawberries and roses, I have also managed to kill many a well meaning herb.
Eventually I got over my fear of killing the basil by, you know, actually using it. I wanted to make something other than just plain, ordinary lemonade, and fortunately I remembered a recipe in an old Gourmet. After hours of searching, I finally found it. I halved the syrup recipe so there will be less left over. If you want to double it to make more lemonade or to have extra syrup on hand, go for it.
It took about 6 or 7 large lemons to get 1 1/4 C lemon juice. If you are not using organic lemons, I suggest scrubbing the outside of the lemons thoroughly before zesting or peeling them. I saved my extra lemon peel and on my next day off, I’ll be making candied lemon peel. I realized as I was making this lemonade that if you save the peel, it’s essentially zero waste lemonade (compost the empty lemons, of course).