With summer in full swing, we’re all about easy entertaining. This lemonade cocktail can be served prepared in a large batch and served in a pitcher. That way, guests can help themselves to refills, and you can keep the party going. To make things even easier, the lemon basil syrup can be made the day before.
Lemonade cocktail recipe
- 8 lemons
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 sprigs basil
- 16 oz gin (optional)
- 16 oz plain sparkling water
- Cucumber slices (for garnishing)
Make the lemon sugar: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Using a sharp vegetable peeler or a paring knife, peel the rind off the lemon to get long pieces of peel. In a small bowl, combine the lemon peel and sugar. Using a muddler, wooden spoon, or your hands, smash the peels and sugar together until some of the oils release and the sugar becomes fragrant. Cover and let stand for 3 hours or place in the refrigerator overnight.
Make the lemon-basil syrup: In a small pot, combine the lemon peel and sugar mixture with 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot. Turn off the heat. Add the sprigs of basil and stir to combine. Let stand until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Strain the liquid into a bowl, discarding the lemon peel and basil sprigs. Juice the lemons, discarding any seeds. Add the lemon juice to the bowl of strained syrup and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prepare the cocktail: To the pitcher of lemon-basil syrup, add the gin, if using. Stir to combine. Add the sparkling water and stir once more. To serve, fill collins glasses with ice and pour in cocktail from the pitcher. Garnish with cucumber slices. Enjoy!
For an easy summer gathering, serve this lemonade cocktail with our first ever lobster box.