Basil Lemonade

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This Basil Lemonade is a delicious twist on a refreshing summer classic. It’s made with fresh lemon juice and sweetened to perfection with a homemade basil simple syrup.

Top down view of glasses of lemonade on ice.

Homemade Fresh Lemonade Recipe with Basil

Looking for the perfect summer drink? You’re in luck. This Basil Lemonade is the one. 

I already knew I loved homemade lemonade. I have strawberry guava lemonade and fresh honey lemonade…and now I have this basil lemonade. 

It’s just as tasty as the other three, sweet and tart, infused with just the right amount of basil flavor, and so quick to make! 

What is Basil Lemonade?

Basil lemonade is lemonade made by combining the juice of fresh lemons with a sweet basil simple syrup. 

Then that mixture is combined with more water and poured over ice. The result is a flavorful, twist on traditional lemonade!

Fresh basil leaves in a pitcher of lemonade.

Are Basil Drinks Good?

Yes! Fresh basil is a unique but oh-so-tasty addition to so many different beverages including infused water, ice-cold lemonade, and even cocktails. 

Lemonade is one of my favorite drinks to infuse with fresh basil leaves. The herby flavor of the basil pairs deliciously with the flavor of tart lemons. 

What Can You Use Instead of Sugar To Sweeten Basil Lemonade?

​You have a few sweetener options to use in place of granulated sugar. 

Do keep in mind that you’ll be making a basil simple syrup. Changing the sugar to another ingredient not only changes the taste but may change the color of the lemonade.

The amount of the sweetener used may need to be adjusted to achieve the desired flavor. Here are some ideas:

  • Maple syrup.
  • A sugar substitute such as Splenda or Stevia.
  • Honey.
  • Agave Nectar.

Where Do You Serve Basil Lemonade?

This easy lemonade makes the perfect drink on a warm summer day! Here are a few ways to enjoy basil lemonade:

  • Wedding shower.
  • Midday brunch.
  • Baby shower.
  • Luncheon.
  • Picnic.

How Many Lemons Make a Cup of Juice?

You can count on about 2-3 tablespoons of juice per lemon. So, that means that around 5 to 6 lemons yields about 1 cup of juice.

This recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice, so you’ll need about 7 to 8 lemons. It will be fewer lemons if they are very large in size.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Water.
  • Sweetener: Granulated sugar works best.
  • Basil: You’ll need enough basil leaves to tightly pack a measuring cup.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh squeezed.
  • Ice: Enough to fill the pitcher and serving glasses.

How to Make Basil Lemonade

You’ll find the exact measurements and full instructions in the recipe card near the bottom of the page.

This basil lemonade recipe is quick and easy to make and so tasty! Here’s a breakdown of the recipe. 

  1. Place water, sugar, and basil into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat, then cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat, then cool to room temperature.
Top down view of basil, sugar and water in a pan.
  1. Pour the basil simple syrup through a mesh sieve to remove the solid pieces.
  2. In a pitcher, combine the ice, water, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Garnish with lemon slices, lemon wedges, or basil sprigs if desired. Serve immediately.
Pitcher of lemonade with basil.

Tips and Notes

  • Don’t overcook the simple syrup. Just 5-7 minutes on the stove is perfect. If it cooks too long, the basil can become bitter.
  • Adjust to taste. The beauty of homemade lemonade is you can adjust it to your tastes. Feel free to make it more tart with extra lemon juice or sweeter with extra syrup.
  • Serve immediately. Once the ice is mixed in, you should serve this lemonade right away. Otherwise the ice will melt and your drink will become watery. See the “storage” heading below for make-ahead instructions.

Serving Suggestions

This basil lemonade is the perfect refreshing drink on hot summer days. Enjoy it on its own, with a fresh fruit salad, or paired with any of your favorite summer meals. Here are a few favorites:


Once the lemonade is made and poured over ice, storage is not recommended. The ice will melt and dilute the drink.

The lemonade can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge 2-3 days if there’s no ice. To make lemonade without ice, simply mix everything up as instructed, but leave out the ice. 

Store it in a covered pitcher in the fridge, then pour over ice when you’re ready to serve.

What Can You Do With Leftover Lemonade?

If you have leftover lemonade, pour it into an ice cube tray and make lemonade ice cubes. Use the ice cubes in your next batch of lemonade, and it won’t get watered down!

You can also pour the lemonade into popsicle molds and make delicious lemonade popsicles.

Lemon wheels in a glasses of lemonade.
Close up view of a glass of lemonade next to a lemon wedge.

Basil Lemonade

4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kim
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 7 to 8 lemons
  • Ice for the pitcher and individual glasses


  • Place 1 ½ cups water, the sugar and basil into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.
    1 ½ cups granulated sugar
    1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Once the basil simple syrup cools, pour it through a mesh sieve to remove all the solid pieces.
  • Add ice to the pitcher then pour in the remaining 3 ½ cups of water, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Stir to combine.
    1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Garnish with lemon wheels and fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.
  • Scroll up and see the post for tips, FAQs, and storage recommendations.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup of lemonade. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 155kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 57mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 161IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.1mg
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4.50 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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