Fresh Basil Lemonade: Shaken Not Stirred…

Well, I was going to start off with a post on making bitter greens (collard, turnip, etc.) more kid friendly…and I’m still going to do a post on that topic at some point, cross my heart.  HOWEVER, it is literally about as hot as blue blazes this week and simmering greens ona hot stove doesn’t sound even remotely appealing.

What does sound appealing is a nice, cool, drink…one that makes you feel sophisticated and lounge-y without requiring you to apply the “five o’ clock somewhere” rule (unless you really want to – see below).  With that in mind, here’s my original recipe for lemonade in the style of Bond, James Bond:

Fresh Basil Lemonade:  Shaken Not Stirred

(Yields about 2 servings)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of simple syrup

1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup of cold water

5 basil leaves – crushed in your hand

8 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters

1 pinch of kosher salt

Method:

First fill two glasses with ice and put them in your freezer.  Now fill a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice and add ALL of the ingredients.  Shake it up for about 1 minute, and allow the drink to steep in the shaker for about 5 minutes.  When the five minutes are up, pour and serve.  Ahhhh!

Hint:  If the cocktail shaker clogs when you try to pour the drink, just remove the basil leaves with a fork.  They’ve already done their thing!

In case you were wondering:

– Salt in lemonade?  Why yes.  Salt doesn’t just make things salty.  It’s actually a flavor enhancer.  In other words, limited quantities of salt can actually make sweet things taste sweeter and give them balance.

– Simple syrup?  That’s two parts sugar to one water, heated to dissolve the sugar.  I usually make it by mixing 2 cups of sugar and one part of water in a boiler, then heating it over medium high just until the mixture achieves a simmer (if you go much longer you’ll get the wrong texture – gooey).  You’ll have to stir frequently or the mixture will burn.  Following these directions will give you between two and two and a half cups of simple syrup, which you can refrigerate in a jar or tupperware container for up to a month.  Simple syrup is an essential ingredient in many drinks of the adult persuasion.

-Adult beverage anyone?  If you’d like your lemonade a little more grown-up, try replacing a half cup of the water with a half cup of bourbon. The end result will be about one shot of bourbon per serving.

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