raspberry basil lemonade
photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 6 servings.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
¼ cup whole, fresh basil leaves
¼ cup whole, fresh mint leaves
1½ cups fresh raspberries
1 gallon cold water
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, sliced, for garnish
12 raspberries, for garnish
6 mint sprigs, for garnish

Make a simple syrup by adding the sugar, 2 cups of water, and basil and mint leaves to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When syrup has cooled, remove the basil and mint from the saucepan.

In a food processor, puree 1½ cups of raspberries. Place a fine sieve over a bowl. Pour the puree into the sieve, and use a spatula to press it through. Discard seeds.

Add the gallon of cold water and the lemon juice to a large pitcher. Add the simple syrup and the raspberry juice. Stir well. Pour the lemonade into tall glasses filled with ice. Garnish each with lemon slices, raspberries, and a mint sprig.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.