Blueberry-basil lemonade.

Study 3: Blueberry. Interval 2: Blueberry-basil lemonade.

The base for this lemonade is needed for the next component of the blueberry pancake deconstruction, but produces a delicious drink on its own.Blueberries do not like to be juiced. The problem is pectin: pureed and perfectly strained blueberries will try to jellify in their jar within hours of processing,

The cop-out, yet effective, solution is to purchase 100% blueberry juice.image


Make basil syrup. In most cases, infusing a flavor into a syrup is easy: just throw sugar, water, and a flavor into a pot, and simmer. Basil, however, is a bit touchy, and can easily be over-cooked. The goal is to draw out the cooling essence of basil, without a chlorophylly cooked-spinach taste. (Spinach syrup is gross.)

First, make simple syrup. Stir one part sugar into one part water in a saucepan on low temperature, about 130-150 degrees F. After the sugar dissolves, prep the basil leaves. Remove the stems from fresh basil leaves, but do not tear the leaves. (This would release chlorophyll.) Instead, smack the leaves several times between the hands. (Bartenders say this releases essential oils from the leaves. I do not trust them on this. But, it’s fun to tell people to spank their basil, and there seems to be no reason why not)
Ensure the syrup is at a temperature just too low to cook the leaves, about 130 F. Add leaves to syrup. Because the basil will float, spoon some of the syrup over the (dry) upper surface of each basil leaf to ensure the full flavor is released. If the basil seems to wilt in the syrup at all, remove it quickly. After about 15 minutes infusion (it varies by the intensity of the basil) Remove the syrup from heat, pull out basil, and allow to chill.

Mix the lemonade. In a glass or pitcher, mix blueberry juice, lemon juice, syrup, and water to taste. A ratio of 1 part syrup, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part blueberry juice, and 2 parts water produces a very tart lemonade. Chill, serve over ice.Garnish with fresh basil leaves and frozen blueberry


1 cup 100% blueberry juice (not cocktail).
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
1 plus 2 cups water.
1 cup granulated sugar.
About 15 leaves fresh basil.

(Add Vodka. Tell No One.)