Looking for a refreshing drink to quench your thirst on a hot summer day?
This delicious and easy-to-make basil lemonade is a lovely combination of sweet and tangy, while basil adds beautiful aromatic qualities.
It's the perfect homemade lemonade, and you have a fresh batch ready in 10 minutes.
This refreshing Basil lemonade is a favorite summer drink.
It's a unique blend of sweet basil, tart lemon juice, and the refreshing sweetness of fresh fruit like (honeydew) melon.
It's the perfect drink that invites you to sit back and unwind while enjoying cool sips. Serve over ice-filled glasses, make it sparkling, or turn it into a lemonade cocktail.
Let's make it!
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick & simple: You can make a fresh batch of this delicious basil lemonade in no time.
- Hydrating & Refreshing: Fresh lemon juice, combined with melon and fresh herbs like basil, creates an aromatic balance of tart and natural sweetness to quench your thirst.
- Healthy recipe: It's sweetened with fresh fruit and a minimal amount of added sugar.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
To make a delicious basil lemonade, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Basil leaves: You'll need ½ cup. Basil has that lovely sweet herbaceous taste with an almost floral quality.
- Lemon juice: You'll need fresh lemon juice from 6-8 lemons, depending on their size. If you can, try to use the sweeter Meyer lemons—requires less added sugar.
- Melon: Use Honeydew. Cantaloupe is a great alternative. You can use the other half to make this refreshing Cantaloupe Smoothie.
- Sweetener: I use coconut sugar or Monk fruit sweetener to make it sugar-free. Feel free to replace it with granulated sugar. You don't need much because the Honeydew juice already adds plenty of natural sweetness.
- Water: You'll need 2 to 3 cups of water to make the lemonade base.
Note: There are so many good uses of lemon peel. I often use them to deodorize the garbage disposal.
How to Make Basil Lemonade
See the full recipe with measurements in the recipe card.
Step 1: Combine lemon juice, melon, basil, and sweetener in a blender.
Step 2: Blend until the melon and basil are completely broken down into the lemon juice.
Step 3: Over a large bowl, pour the juice through a fine mesh strainer or use a nut milk bag.
Step 4: Combine with cold water. Add more sweetener if preferred.
Tip: Best to let the basil lemonade chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to enjoy ice-cold lemonade. Then serve and add extra lemon wedges or fresh basil leaves to garnish.
Note: You can also use a juice extractor. In that case, throw all the peeled fruits and Basil in the juicer, then pour the juiced liquid into a pitcher and stir in the water and the desired amount of sweetener.
- The color of the drink might vary based on the type of melon or sweetener used and the color of the basil leaves (green, purple).
- Use Meyer lemons for a less tart taste. If you're using regular lemons, prepare to add extra sweetener.
- Start with a small amount of sweetener. You can always adjust to taste.
- Best to chill the basil lemonade for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving or prep in advance.
Here are a few variations to try:
- Sugar or honey: If you prefer a sweeter drink, you can add more sugar or honey to your basil lemonade. Start with the suggested amount and adjust to taste. Always ensure the sugar dissolves completely while stirring.
- Lime Juice: Substitute some of the lemon juice for lime juice to add a slightly different flavor.
- Cantaloupe melon: Switch it up and use cantaloupe melon instead. It will change the color of the drink.
- Sparkling Water: Like some fizz? Replace water with sparkling water for a refreshing and bubbly kick.
- Make a Basil cocktail: For an adult twist, add an ounce of vodka or gin per glass and then fill it with your basil lemonade. This will give it a boozy kick and make it perfect for a summer cocktail party.
- Extra tip: Coat the rim with some coconut sugar (see pics); Garnish and let the sipping begin.
From backyard entertaining to making a jug just for yourself, I have some delicious food ideas that pair well with basil lemonade.
- For entertaining: Try a large thick-crust pizza or polenta pizza; juicy burgers; spicy chicken wings, fennel-cucumber bites, or a savory and sweet Mezze board.
- Pair with healthy sweet treats like date brownies, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, or mascarpone cookies.
- For a quick snack or small bite, try salty pretzels, simple potato or cassava chips, or a mix of your favorite nuts (salty pistachios are good here).
Refrigerate: Store your basil lemonade in the fridge to keep it chilled and fresh. For best results, store it in a pitcher or transfer it to a mason jar with a lid or an airtight container. It stays fresh for 4 to 5 days.
Shake it up: Before serving, give your basil lemonade a good shake to mix up any settling at the bottom.
Chill in advance: If you prefer your lemonade extra cold, you can chill it in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This will also help the flavors meld together for a more delicious taste.
A great way to use any Basil lemonade leftovers:
Make popsicles. By the way, I also have some creamy vegan and Paleo-friendly Ice cream to cool off this summer.
As flavored ice cubes, which you can drop into other drinks and smoothies.
Create a healthy version of an ice cone when crushed or blended.
They have a deeper, more orange-toned color than regular lemons.
And although they still have that pleasant citrusy taste, they also have a much sweeter and more floral flavor because they are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges.
If you use regular lemons, adjust the amount of sweetener to offset their tart taste.
I always look for a honeydew melon that has developed a somewhat yellowish outer skin color.
Avoid the ones that are still too firm and whiteish. They also should have a waxy feeling to the touch.
But the best way to tell is by smell. Ripe Honeydew melons that are ready to eat should be fragrant and faintly sweet.
Always allow the fruit to rest for a few days at room temperature before enjoying them instead of directly out of the fridge.
They taste better and sweeter that way!
All that is left to do is to make this great drink, sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Other Healthy Drink Recipes You Might Like
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Honeydew and Basil LemonadeMariska Ramondino
- 1 ⅓ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from about 6-8 (Meyer) lemons, depending on size—see note 310 ml
- 5 cups chopped Honeydew melon, (about ½ of Honeydew melon, depending on its size) 720 grams
- ½ cup loosely packed sweet fresh basil leaves plus more to garnish (about 10 grams)
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (27 grams) or Monk fruit sweetener or more to taste
- 2 cups of fresh water or sparkling water—see note 500 ml, plus more as needed
- Add lemon juice, honeydew melon, basil, and sweetener in a blender.1 ⅓ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from about 6-8 (Meyer) lemons, depending on size—see note, 5 cups chopped Honeydew melon, (about ½ of Honeydew melon, depending on its size), ½ cup loosely packed sweet fresh basil leaves, 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (27 grams) or Monk fruit sweetener
- Blend until you get a beautiful greenish juice and the basil and melon are completely broken down.
- Use a large strainer and pour the drink mixture through the strainer into a large pitcher
- Alternatively, you can use a nut milk bag—my preferred choice. Place the bag in a large bowl. Pour in the basil liquid. Close the bag at the top and gently start squeezing out the juice over the bowl until you only have pulp left in the bag. Discard any pulp—you will have very little. Then pour the basil lemonade into a pitcher.
- Combine with water using a whisk. Stir well.2 cups of fresh water or sparkling water—see note
- Adjust the amount of sweetener to taste, if desired.
- Pour into your favorite glass(es) and garnish with some extra Basil leaves and lemon wedges.
- See note on making a sparkling drink or a basil lemonade cocktail.
- Love it more on the tart side—then add more lemon juice.
- Want it sweeter—add more monk fruit or coconut sugar, or honey.
- Want a more herbal flavor—then add more basil.
- If too strong, dilute it with water.
- Make sure that your Honeydew melon is ripe enough with a nectarous juicy taste.
- Make it with Cantaloupe melon.
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Nutrition (% Daily value)
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.