Basil Lemonade

This sparkling basil lemonade recipe is a refreshing summertime drink, made with freshly squeezed lemons and basil. These two flavors come together nicely in this lemony Italian mocktail served over ice. It’s easy to make lemonade from scratch and it tastes better too!

Speaking of refreshing beverages, this green tea hibiscus fruit punch is pretty amazing too!

Two glasses of lemonade have fresh lemon slices on the glasses. There's a lemon behind it, and basil sprigs in front of it. There's a pitcher of more of the beverage behind it.

If you are like me and grew up drinking lemonade from frozen concentrate, you’re in for a real treat with today’s recipe. We’re making a homemade basil lemonade that is so refreshing and easy to make too! You’ll wonder why you haven’t made lemonade from scratch before!

That’s the simple truth. But let’s talk about basil lemonade. For example, why do these two flavors go together?

I can imagine your question might be, will the flavor of the basil will overwhelm this drink? The answer is no. In fact, the basil only adds a mild aftertaste, which is actually very tasty!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using fresh lemons gives you the most flavor for this beverage
  • Adding fresh basil leaves infuses this drink with just a hint of basil flavor
  • Adding club soda makes a fizzy beverage you’ll want to turn to time and time again!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Lemons — Fresh lemons are the secret to homemade lemonade
  • Sugar — This is a lightly sweetened lemonade, but a little sugar is necessary
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh basil leaves — A few fresh basil leaves add so much flavor!
  • Club Soda — I like adding some sparkling water when serving this lemonade.
  • Crushed ice — Make your drink even more refreshing with crushed ice!

Ingredient Spotlight

Several lemons are laying side by side on a white table.

What Lemons are Best for Lemonade?

Look for thin-skinned lemons that do not have green spots. You may think bigger lemons would yield more juice, but this is not always the case because larger lemons have thicker skins. Each lemon should yield about 1/4 cup or more of juice. To get the most juice possible out of your lemons, you can zap them in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds, then roll them firmly on the counter.

A glass sits in front of a pitcher. Both hold lemonade with fresh lemons and basil leaves.

How to Make Basil Lemonade

This lemonade with basil is one of my favorite Italian non-alcoholic beverages! I think you’ll love it to, and here are the simple steps to make it:

  1. Create strips of lemon zest from fresh lemons.
  2. Then juice the zested lemons.
  3. Stir and cook the water, sugar, and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Remove from heat and add the basil leaves and lemon zest strips.
  5. Allow this to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  6. Strain the lemon basil syrup, to remove the basil and zest pieces.
  7. Pour the strained concentrate into a mason jar or lidded container and refrigerate until chilled.

You can make this refreshing Basil Lemonade in less than 10 minutes!

Marly’s Tips

  • You may need to supplement additional lemon juice as needed to equal one cup.
  • Make a basil lemonade cocktail by adding a bit of regular or whipped cream vodka to individual glasses.
  • Make strawberry basil lemonade by adding chopped strawberries to the concentrated syrup before refrigerating.

Serving Lemonade

When you’re ready to serve the lemonade, add ice to a glass and pour in some of the lemonade concentrate. Then add either cold water or club soda.

Be sure to garnish the serving glasses with basil sprigs and sliced lemon.

Flavor Variations

If you want to change up your lemonade flavors, here are some great options to consider:

  • Watermelon Basil Lemonade — Add a cup of fresh watermelon with the lemon strips when you’re making the simple syrup to infuse this drink with lemonade flavor. You can also add frozen watermelon balls when serving.
  • Peach Basil Lemonade — Take a fresh peach and remove the pit, then cut the flesh into chunks and add these with the lemon strips to the simple syrup. I also love having a second peach to cut it into pieces and add them to the glass of lemonade, very similar to this peach sangria recipe. Fresh peach in the glass looks amazing and adds more peach flavor.
  • Basil Ginger Lemonade — You have three options to try with this flavor profile. 1) You can add a teaspoon of dried ginger to the simple syrup. This is the easiest approach. 2) You’ll get more ginger flavor by using fresh ginger. Peel the ginger first, and then add a few small slices of fresh ginger to the simple syrup as it’s cooking. Fresh ginger has a strong flavor profile so be sure to keep it minimal. 3) You can also add the fresh ginger to the lemonade and let it steep in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  • Blackberry Basil Lemonade — The easiest way to make blackberry basil lemonade is add half of a cup of blackberries with the lemon zest to the hot simple syrup. Then add fresh blackberries to the drink before serving. I prefer this method because you will remove the blackberry seeds when you pour the simple syrup through a fine mesh strainer.

How do you make lemonade from scratch?

To make homemade lemonade, you’ll need to create the lemon concentrate. To do that, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and water together. You can either add this to a pitcher and stir to dissolve the sugar or cook it in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. This is your lemonade concentrate. To serve, add ice to a glass along with lemon slices. Pour in some of the concentrate with some additional water or club soda (for a fizzy lemonade).

More Beverages to Try

This basil lemonade is so flavorful. If you like tasty beverages, here are some more favorite beverage recipes to try:

Two glasses hold lemonade. There's sprigs of basil in front of the glass and a cutting board with freshly cut lemons behind it.
Two glasses hold lemonade with lemon slices and fresh basil sprigs.

Italian Basil Lemonade

This Italian Basil Lemonade is served up with the best of fresh and fizziness, with lemons, basil, and sparkling water.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 68kcal


Lemon Basil Syrup

  • 3 lemons
  • cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Serving Basil Lemonade

  • 2 cups water or club soda chilled
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish with lemon slices and basil sprigs


For the Lemon Basil Syrup

  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer layer of the lemons, creating several strips of lemon zest. Use a juicer to extract juice from the peeled lemons.
    Looking down on a cutting board with cut and zested lemons. There's a vegetable peeler and a fruit juicer beside it too.
  • Combine sugar, water, and 1 cup lemon juice (supplementing with additional lemon juice as needed to equal one cup) in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until this mixture comes to a simmer and the sugar disolves. Remove from heat and add the basil leaves and lemon zest strips. Allow the basil to seep for 5 – 10 minutes.
    A saucepan holds liquid with lemon zest and basil leaves.
  • Strain the lemon basil syrup, to remove the basil and zest pieces. Pour this into a mason jar or lidded container and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (at least one hour).

For Serving

  • When you're ready to serve the lemonade, add the water or club soda, crushed ice and basil sprigs to a pitcher with the lemonade concentrate. Pour into individual glasses. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon slices.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

21 Responses to Basil Lemonade

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySandy@ReluctantEntertainer Reply

    Marly, anything basil is first choice for me right now! Love this for Aggie’s shower, girl!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRobyn Stone | Add a Pinch Reply

    I love basil in lemonade! And you made this sparkling – how delish!!!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTasha @thatssoyummy Reply

    Absolutely loving this combination, beautiful photos!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyChristine (Cook the Story) Reply

    I love the idea of basil in this lemonade. Such a sophisticated twist on a simple classic drink. I agree that it is special when we women come together to support or have fun together. These kinds of parties, virtual or not, always make me feel so connected to others.

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLaura Reply

    This sounds amazing! I love basil in lemonade.

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJulieD Reply

    Perfection, Marly! I LOVE these! I will have to make them soon! So glad you joined in with us! You’re the best!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAli | Gimme Some Oven Reply

    Beautiful, Marly! I adore adding basil to drinks in the summer! 🙂

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlykatie Reply

    mmm. I love the idea of combining lemonade with basil!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRachel Cooks Reply

    These are gorgeous! Love the combination of lemon and basil.

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLiz @ The Lemon Bowl Reply

    I could go for a GIANT glass of this!! Thank you so much for participating!!!

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