Along with several other herbs that I am growing in my tiny apartment, I have a lemon basil plant that was taking over the light from everyone else. In order for the other herbs to stay happy, I seriously needed to prune him back. Have you ever had lemon basil? It smells amazing, just as it sounds, very lemony, or sometimes I even think it smells like fruit loops. I would say it even tastes more lemony than it does basil-y.
I have been trying to decide what to make with this lemon basil, because the internet just really does not have that many options. If you try and look up lemon basil recipes they are all basil and lemons but not lemon-basil. Plus, if I were to cook with it, they are typically Asian or Indian style dishes. I want to think outside the normal box. I will be trying several experiments throughout the lifetime of this plant, and will report with all my findings.
First experiment: Lemon Basil Lemonade
lemonade powder or if you happen to have fresh lemons, that would be even better.
First, you will want to blanch the basil so you keep that beautiful green color and your drink does not turn out an unappealing brown. To do this, bring water to a boil in a pot. While that is starting to boil, separate the leaves from the stems from your harvested basil. Once the water is boiling, toss in the basil and stir for 20 seconds. Remove the pan from heat, and scoop out the basil leaves, placing them on a paper towel. Do not toss the water, instead let it to cool down to room temp, or place in fridge for quicker results.
Once your water is cool, place about 1 cup in a blender and add the basil leaves. Puree until no more chunks are visible. Strain the contents into a bowl, separating the pulp from the liquid. Toss or compost the remaining plant matter. Then poor the basil water back into the blender with a water ratio recommended to the powdered lemonade. Blend for even distribution.
Pour into a glass filled with ice (and vodka), and enjoy.
End Result: I will make again with real lemons, I bet that will be amazing. I also had quite a large basil to lemonade ratio, since I had just a little of lemonade powder left. In the future, I would double or triple the lemonade ratio to basil.