Purple Basil Lemonade

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I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned in passing before I don’t drink coffee.  Actually I don’t drink any caffeine. 

Blame it on a long history of insomnia and chronic migraines.  At this point, I’ve been caffeine free for so long that I don’t even miss the sweet taste of coca-cola on a hot afternoon or my earl grey tea on a cold winters days. 

Sure there are caffeine-free versions, but it isn’t the same and frankly they kind of taste gross!

No, to satisfy my need for a refreshing drink, I turn to my long-time reliable BFF lemonade. 

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I’m particular though, I don’t want it to be a sugar bomb, I want to taste the tartness from the freshly squeezed lemons -heck even leave the pulp in! At least then I know it isn’t from a mix. 

We ended up with some beautifully fragrant purple ruffles basil this week in our CSA and I had a feeling it was going to make one ugly looking pesto, so I needed an alternate use.  This type of basil is sweet with a slight anise flavor to it.  

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Purple Basil Lemonade

The purple basil turns the lemon juice a lovely pinkish hue once muddled together. This would make a wonderful alternative pink lemonade if you didn't want to add an additional fruit juices into the mix.

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  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 purple ruffles basil or purple basil, cut into chiffonade.
  • 3-4 cups cold water
  • additional lemon slices and basil for garnish
  • ice


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir 1 cup of water and the sugar together to make a simple syrup. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool.
  2. In a large pitcher, muddle the lemon juice and basil together until basil is fragrant and juice stars to turn slightly pink.
  3. Mix in the simple syrup and remaining cups of water until desired sweetness/tartness is achieved.
  4. Serve right away with plenty of ice or refrigerate until cold.

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4 thoughts on “Purple Basil Lemonade

  1. Kristina

    I’ve never had purple basil, I’m so curious now! And I don’t really drink caffeine either, this lemonade sounds perfect! Temps are creeping back into the 90s this week at home… ick. Definitely going to be needing a cool drink!

  2. Anita at Hungry Couple

    I also get migraines but caffeine actually help mine. Weird. So I can enjoy my earl gray tea (my fave) and my slight diet Coke dependency. But none of that would stop me from also enjoying this good use of purple basil. Yum.

  3. Pingback: Lobster Salad with Avocado, Corn and Tomatoes #SundaySupper - The Girl in the Little Red KitchenThe Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

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