Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sparkling Blue Basil Lemonade for #FoodieExtravaganza

Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza
v. August 2016 = Our Very Own Virtual Lemonade Stand

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate Lemonade Day (which is August 20th) by serving up lemonade of all kinds.

This month, it's all about lemonade which means you can see additional delicious and lemonade creations in this post. Hooray! Thanks to Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook for hosting this event. She encouraged us: "Bring your favorite glass to the party. Any flavor will do! Make it sparkle, make it sweet, make it tart, or spike it up. You can even choose to cook with it or bake with it, let's celebrate summer!"

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza.  We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Other Inspired Sips from the #FoodieExtravaganza Crew...

In My Glass...
First, a note about blue basil. It's real. It's not like 'blue raspberry' slushies or anything like that. It's an actual plant, an African blue basil. And, thankfully, my littlest gardener, my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf, grows it in our yard. So I headed out to the garden and clipped some for this creation.

Lemonade is not much more than lemon, water, and something to sweeten it, right? So, this version includes blue basil simple syrup, freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice - also from our yard - and some sparkling water. For the grown-ups, you can take this up a notch by making it with sparkling wine instead of sparkling water. Cheers!

The secret to homemade lemonade is to make a simple syrup first. That way the sugar is dissolved and not grainy in your drink. The ratio for the syrup is 1: 1. For this version I added sprigs of blue basil to the syrup as it cooled.

Simple Syrup
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 C water
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of African blue basil

  • 1 C freshly squeezed lemon juice for the base
  • 5 to 6 C sparkling water or sparkling wine
  • 1 sprigs of fresh blue basil + some for garnish, if desired
  • lemon slices for garnish, if desired

Place herbs in a jar or bottle that can hold up to 2 cups.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat till the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the syrup over the herbs and let cool. Reserve the syrup till you’re ready to make the lemonade.

Pour syrup into a mixing pitcher. Add 1 C freshly squeezed lemon juice. Then add water to taste. Because I was making this half for kids and half for the grownups, I used 1/2 C simple syrup, 1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2-1/2 C sparkling water for the kids' version and 1/2 C simple syrup, 1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2-1/2 C sparkling wine for the grownup version.

Serve with slices of fresh lemon and herb sprigs, if you like. Cheers!


  1. I'll take a glass of the adult version please.

  2. I'll wait in line behind Wendy for a glass of the adult version. :) I'm jealous I can't find blue basil or meyer lemons here at all anymore. I did for 1 year and then never again.

  3. So pretty and how lucky you are to grow your own lemons!

  4. Thanks for the recipe! Now I know what to do with my large crop of purple basil. It sounds delicious and refreshing.

  5. So beautiful - I love when I see the "blue basil" pop up in your recipes - it's just gorgeous!

  6. I love the sound of your blue basil syrup and your lemonade looks great.

  7. How unique! I grow purple basil in my garden, but have never heard of blue basil. Perfect for summer.

  8. I've never heard of blue basil. I will need to check around for it, or just grow it I guess. Does it taste like regular basil? This sounds really great.

  9. So jealous of your garden and those gardeners of yours - maybe my boys will have that green thumb I lack. I love the idea of a basil simple syrup, and of course the bubbles!