Mean Green: Basil Lemonade

On the sweet to sour spectrum, this basil lemonade is firmly in the sour camp.  Made from the juice of one and a half lemons, it is lip-puckeringly delicious.  

If you prefer your lemonade on the mellower side, you can always dilute the drink with another two ounces (60 ml) of soda water and serve in a long glass.  Both versions are fresh, tart and irresistibly good!

It’s worth noting that there are several different ways to impart the basil flavor into lemonade.  Some recipes call for a basil simple syrup infusion (1:1 parts water and sugar heated in a saucepan with the basil leaves).  However, I prefer the blender method as it better preserves the earthy freshness of the basil in the final mocktail.  


  • 1.5 oz. (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 1.5 small lemons)
  • 4 g basil leaves, roughly chopped (approx. 15 medium-sized leaves)
  • ½ oz. (15 ml) agave syrup
  • 4 oz. (120 ml) soda water or sparkling water
  • Ice

For the garnish:

  • Slice of lemon
  • Small sprig of basil leaves


  • Immersion hand blender
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Jigger or measuring spoons
  • Citrus juicer
  • Cocktail spoon
  • Tumbler


  1. Use an immersion hand blender to wizz the lemon juice, agave syrup and basil leaves into a smooth liquid.
  2. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any basil solids.
  3. Pour the basil infused lemon juice into a tumbler.
  4. Fill the glass to the brim with ice and top with the soda water.
  5. Use a cocktail spoon to gently mix the ingredients together.
  6. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of basil.

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Basil Lemonade FAQ

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice?
For the best flavor, it is recommended to use fresh lemon juice for this recipe.

Do I need to remove the basil leaves from the stem before blending?
Yes, you should remove the basil leaves from the stem before blending.  The stem will impart sour notes into the drink that you do not want.

Can I use a regular blender instead of an immersion hand blender?
Yes, you can use any type of blender for this recipe.  I prefer to use an immersion hand blender for small volumes of liquid because it is easy to assemble and clean.

Do I need to use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the mixture?
The fine-mesh sieve is used to remove any stray pieces of basil leaf from the blended juice.  It helps to ensure a smooth texture in the final mocktail.  If you don’t have a sieve, you could skip this step but the drink will look a little more rustic.

Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the basil, lemon and agave syrup mixture ahead of time.  Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.  It is best to add the soda water and ice just before serving to keep the drink fizzy and fresh.  

Can I use other herbs instead of basil?
Yes, you can experiment with other herbs, such as mint or rosemary, to create different flavor variations on this mocktail.

Can I use a different sweetener instead of agave syrup?
Yes, you can use any sweetener you prefer such as sugar, maple syrup, honey or simple syrup.  Bear in mind that some sweeteners have distinctive flavors that can affect the overall character of the drink.

Can I use still water instead of soda water?
Yes.  If you don’t want the mocktail to be carbonated, you can replace the soda water with still water.

Can I use dried basil instead of fresh basil?
It is not recommended to use dried basil as it will not impart the same flavor as fresh basil leaves.

Can I use a different type of citrus instead of lemon?
Yes, you can experiment with other types of citrus fruit, such as lime or grapefruit to create a different flavor profile.

Can I use a different type of glass to serve this drink?
Yes, you can use any type of glass to serve this drink.  A tumbler or highball glass works well, but you could also serve it in a stemmed wine glass or G&T glass.

Did you make this?  Tag me @mightymocktail or use the hashtag #mightymocktail!

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