Basil lemonade

LEVEL: Beginners



4 lemons, plus extra lemon slices to serve
100g golden caster sugar
20g basil, plus extra leaves to serve
crushed ice or ice cubes
sparkling water or soda water


I’ve suggested serving this and the orangeade below with crushed ice. I think this makes these drinks even more refreshing and as you’re already diluting the cordials with water, a little extra from the ice won’t make much of a difference, but if you like a longer drink go for cubes.

Pare the rind from the lemons, making sure there’s no bitter white pith. Place in a pan. Next, squeeze the juice of the lemons and pour into the pan along with the caster sugar. Roughly tear the basil sprigs across the middle and add to the pan then pour in 100ml cold water. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until syrupy then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cool, strain into a sterilised jar.

To serve, put a handful of crushed ice into each glass, pour in 1-2 tablespoons of cordial, a couple of basil leaves and a slice of lemon and top up with sparkling water. The cordial will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge in a sealed sterilised container.