Sparkling Italian Lemonade

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Sparkling Italian LemonadeHave you ever started something, maybe a job, a task, a trip, or a hobby, where you didn’t know how it was going to end up or even how you were going to get there, but you blindly jump-started it and took off?  Then, at some point later you looked back and thought “I am so glad I took that risk!”  That’s how I feel about my journey with this food blog.

Back when I started this blog 4 1/2 years ago, I never imagined it would’ve taught me so much about baking and cooking, about writing and photography, and about friendship and community.  Never in a million years would I have guessed, while sitting and writing my first post in February of 2007, that I would be “attending” virtual parties with blogging friends.  Yes, I look back today and think “I am so glad I took that risk!

For this virtual baby shower we are celebrating, Josie, the intelligent, sweet, beautiful and sensational cook/baker behind Pink Parsley blog.  She is expecting her second baby, and her first BOY!  I’m especially excited for her because I know there is something very special about having a son.  A mother/son bond is like none other.  One day he will grow up and take off with his soul mate, but until then, his mother is the love of his life.  😉  I know that Josie is going to be a wonderful mother to her son, and cherish the moments that I have also experienced already with my Judah.  I’m sure she will be teaching him some mad cooking skills, too!

For Josie’s virtual shower, I contributed this Sparkling Italian Lemonade because I know that tart lemonade is one of Josie’s favorites (aside from a yummy cocktail that she hasn’t been able to enjoy for the last several months).  She even made a strawberry lemonade to announce her pregnancy on her blog!  This lemonade features a simple basil syrup that adds just the right amount of twist to make it an interestingly refreshing beverage.  You can make it with regular water instead of using sparkling, but what fun is it to leave out the “bubbly”?

You can check out the full round up of other bloggers’ dishes for the shower by visiting Josie’s food blog or our gracious host, Annie’s blog.   Congratulations, Josie!  We are all so happy for you.  Enjoy that baby boy when he arrives!  Thanks, Annie, for hosting!

Sparkling Italian Lemonade

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Sparkling Italian Lemonade

  • 1 bunch fresh basil, washed and stemmed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups lemon juice, from about 12 to 15 lemons
  • 2 cups cold sparkling water
  • Ice

To make the syrup, combine the basil, sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Simmer and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cool and strain. Set aside or store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Mix the lemon juice, the basil syrup and sparkling water together in a pitcher. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Pour over glasses filled with ice.

Source: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis, via The Food Network


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  1. I *love* basil + lemonade. This looks perfect for a party or a crazy hot summer!

  2. You know how I adore lemonade! This sounds so fabulous to me. I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks so much for being part of the shower Nikki 🙂

  3. The basil plants in my garden have exploded in the last few weeks! After making a triple batch of pesto last week, maybe it’s time to try something new – and this looks like the perfect thing!

  4. I have been wanting to try a basil lemonade recipe all summer – you were after my heart when you made it sparkling – my favorite way to drink lemonade! Thanks so much for your sweet words and for participating in my shower!!

  5. Oh this sounds so good! I’ve been wanting to make homemade lemonade and I think this will be the recipe I try!

  6. Gorgeous post, Nikki! I love this idea for making a traditional summer drink more elegant and a whole lot more fun.

  7. I love love love basil! I can only imagine how great it taste in lemonade! What a wonderful addition to the virtual shower!

  8. Isn’t this such a great little group we have?! I’m loving this sparkling lemonade, Nikki – it sounds so refreshing!! I’ve got a ton of basil to use up and this may just be on my list for the weekend. 🙂

  9. This looks like such a refreshing summer drink! I love the addition of fresh basil! 🙂

  10. Yum! Basil and lemon. Great combination and what a thoughtful drink for the pregnant mama.

  11. This looks so delicious, especially with the basil syrup! I will definitely be making it soon.

  12. I haven’t delved into the world of homemade drinks, but this might get me to do it. And the basil (which is one of my all-time favorite flavors), intrigues me. I love it in basically anything so a drink like this might be in my future soon. 🙂

  13. This sounds super refreshing, can’t wait to try this.

  14. I love the addition of basil! And the bubbles of course 🙂 This is a great looking lemonade and seems perfect for a baby shower

  15. I could try different flavors of lemon and limeade forever…its (one of) my addictions! This looks great.

  16. This looks perfect for a hot day, lemon plus basil is a beautiful combination

  17. I love lemonade, and basil in drinks is SO good. What a great choice for the shower – I’m sure Josie would totally love this!

  18. This looks really good! I love lemonade and I love basil, maybe I can make this for my back-to-school party I’m having next week!

  19. Looks so delist for summertime!

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