blueberry lemonade

As Independence Day approaches, you may be on the lookout for delicious cocktail recipes to serve at your 4th of July bash. What could be more all-American than a cool glass of lemonade? Our version includes blueberries and basil, lending a summery flavor and patriotic color to the drink. Our blueberry-basil lemonade recipe can be served with or without vodka, making it the perfect choice for kids and adults alike!

If you are planning on serving the lemonade for the 4th of July, consider adding some other antioxidant-rich berries to the skewers along with the blueberries. A skewer with a blueberry, a strawberry and a raspberry will add a touch of red to the glass and make these cocktails even more festive!

You can also substitute lime juice for the lemon to turn this into a limeade that’s just as tasty.

Blueberry-Basil Lemonade Recipe (serves 4)

Ingredients

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups fresh, organic blueberries, plus 8 for garnish
1/2 cup basil leaves, plus 4 for garnish
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons water
4 cups sparkling water
ice
4 shots vodka (optional, and gluten-free dieters, try a gluten-free vodka)

Directions

Combine the fresh lemon juice and blueberries in a large bowl. Tear the basil leaves with your hands and add them to the bowl. Muddle gently with a pestle or a muddler and let stand in the fridge while you prepare the simple syrup.

Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool in the fridge, about 30 minutes.

When the simple syrup is cool, press the muddled lemon, blueberry and basil mixture through a fine sieve into a large pitcher. Add the sparkling water and the syrup, starting with half of the syrup and adding more to taste. (You may add less or more syrup depending on the sweetness of your blueberries.) Stir to combine.

To serve, add ice to individual glasses. Add vodka if desired, then add the lemonade. Stir to combine. Garnish with two blueberries on a small skewer or toothpick and a basil leaf or basil flower.

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Image: culinarycara