Before the last glimpses of summer disappear, I wanted to share with you a drink that I’ve been enjoying during the heat of the past few days. It’s a refreshingly strong ginger lemonade with fresh lemon basil. And it’s so good.
The lemonade itself is bold and refreshing. The ginger adds a liveliness to it as you drink and a lingering spiciness after it's gone. And while I was initially envisioning the lemon basil just as decoration, it actually lends an herbal fragrance to the drink that compliments the other flavors perfectly. This ginger lemonade is excellent on its own, but would also go well with a variety of Thai dishes. It's acidic enough to cut through the richness of fried dishes such as crispy fried pork and Thai fried chicken and spicy enough to stand up to the heat of various curries.
I can’t think of a better way to enjoy these last few days of summer weather than eating a delicious Thai meal outside with a cool glass of this ginger lemonade in hand. Enjoy!
Recipe for Ginger Lemonade
Yields 2 servings
- 1/2 cup ginger, sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water
- a few sprigs of lemon basil
- Bring water, sugar, and ginger to a slow boil until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn off the heat and let the ginger steep for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let it steep, the more pronounced the ginger flavor will be (I generally leave mine for several hours). Once it’s to your liking, strain the syrup to remove the ginger and chill in the refrigerator.
- To make the lemonade, combine 1 part lemon juice (1/4 cup) with 2 parts ginger syrup (1/2 cup) and 3 parts cold water (3/4 cup). Pour into glasses and serve with lemon slices and a sprig of lemon basil.