This past Friday night we had our once-a-month Gourmet Cooking Club that my friend, Shawna, hosts at her house. It was a pizza themed event this time (yum!) and while everything was delicious, my favorite thing was actually a drink that Shawna made. When we walked into her kitchen there was a beautiful glass punch bowl with what looked like lemonade but with something additional floating on top…basil leaves and sliced jalapenos! Yes, somewhat uncommon for a sweet punch but trust me on this, it is AMAZING. The lemonade is sweet and tart and bubbly and the basil is the perfect, refreshing addition. And then there is just the slightest kick and spice from the jalapeno…it’s barely there but definitely noticeable and honestly, delicious!!
Put this one on your list for your Memorial Day party–I guarantee it will end up in your regular drink rotation for the summer!
Recipe by Better Homes and Gardens
- 4 c. Water
- 3 c. Sugar
- 2 c. Fresh Basil Leaves (about 1-1/2 ounces)
- 2, 1-liter Bottles Club Soda, chilled
- 2 c. Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed is best)
- Ice cubes
- 1 Fresh Jalapeno Chile Pepper, sliced*
- Fresh basil leaves
- For basil syrup, in a large saucepan combine water, sugar, and basil. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain syrup and discard leaves. Cover and chill syrup for 2 to 24 hours.
- For lemonade, in a very large punch bowl combine chilled syrup, club soda, and lemon juice. Serve over ice and garnish with jalapeno slices and fresh basil leaves.
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