Fresh Basil Lemonade

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Summertime is the perfect time for a glass of this refreshing homemade lemonade.

Basil Lemonade in a glass mug with a straw

There’s something about the combination of lemon and fresh basil that makes this naturally sweetened drink irresistible to me. Which is surprising, because without the basil it’s practically the same lemonade made famous by the Master Cleanse– something I tried following briefly in college. Boy, was I was miserable doing that! (If I’m going to fast, I prefer juicing my own fruits and veggies for more variety.)

However terrible the experience, I do credit the Master Cleanse for teaching me about pure maple syrup. Up until that point, I didn’t know the difference between pure maple syrup and the processed variety! I’ve enjoyed this dark, rich syrup as a natural sweetener ever since, and love that it’s a source of antioxidants and minerals, like manganese and zinc.

If maple syrup isn’t your sweetener of choice, feel free to replace it with raw honey, fresh dates, or even stevia, for a sugar-free option. Since you can taste this drink as you go, you can always add more lemon, sweetener, or water until it tastes exactly how you’d like it to! The basil in this recipe has a pretty predominant taste, which I love, but if you’re hesitant about the basil addition, feel free to start with less. You can always add more as you go!

Fresh Basil Lemonade
Serves 2


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups water
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh minced basil


This drink couldn’t be easier to prepare. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until the basil is completely broken down. No need to strain!

Alternatively, you could just shake the ingredients together and allow the flavors to meld in the fridge for an hour or so, then strain before serving. Pour over ice and serve immediately.

Print Pin
5 from 3 votes

Fresh Basil Lemonade

A refreshing summer drink that's naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword basil lemonade
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 87kcal


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced basil


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until the basil is completely broken down. No need to strain! Alternatively, you could just shake the ingredients together and allow the flavors to meld in the fridge for an hour or so, then strain before serving. Pour over ice and serve immediately!


Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 98mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 11.8mg | Calcium: 40mg


Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite summer drink? Have you ever tried the Master Cleanse? (It’s definitely NOT something I’d ever do again.)

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Laura @ Raise Your Garden

Well, I have tried the master cleanse and I don’t want to talk about it! Bad experience. I come from a family that firmly believes in cleansing but I’m afraid it was not for me so I hope they don’t write me off.

Favorite summer drink is any berry smoothie with yogurt and spinach. Or anything with lemon. Have never tried adding basil but I am always looking for ways to use up all the basil in my garden! Growing vats of it. Looks refreshing. Not a fan of maple syrup, especially the processed junk, use xylitol instead. Hope that is ok.


Laura, how much xylitol would you use in the recipe above? thanks!

Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate

I was just wondering what to do with all the fresh basil from my garden, this is perfect!


I love your blogs and your recipes. A lot of people do also so I think it’s important to be accurate. All maple syrup is processed the exact same way. Maple tree sap is boiled , period that’s it, no other processing. The color and therefore the grade is purely dependent on when in the season the sap is drawn. Early in the season it’s light as it gets later in the season it gets dark. There is no difference in the processing what so ever so long as you are buying pure maple syrup and not maple flavored syrup. You can do your own research, go to a sugar house, talk to the Vermont Maple syrup board …..there is absolutely no difference in how light or dark maple syrup is made. This year the sap ran late in Northwestern CT and there was no light maple at all only dark. Not because they haven’t got around to processing it but because the weather was really cold and then warm without a gradually warm up that would cause a light sap. Color and grade have nothing to do with processing the sap . Many sugar houses welcome the opportunity to educate people about how maple syrup is made. Call one ask them, light syrup being highly processed is not true


    Thanks for the info, Mary! Perhaps I was not clear in my post– I was referring to how up until I tried the Master Cleanse I was not familiar with the difference between pure maple syrup and processed varieties, meaning the maple-flavored pancake syrups that my family used growing up. As long as it’s pure maple syrup, light or dark will work fine in this recipe. (Though research shows that the darker the syrup, the more antioxidants it contains.)


      Megan, maybe you could edit your post above? Mary is totally correct in her information AND I had the same reaction to your comment about the maple syrup in your post. It is highly possibly others – like you hadn’t known – about the difference between “maple flavored” syrup (aka cooked sugar water) and the real stuff. But you should make it clear that that is what you are talking about in your post. Blog posts are EASY to edit. I am a blogger too.

Kira - HealthAble Old Soul

So curious to combine lemon and basil!


This sounds delicious! Thanks! My favorite summer drinks are smoothies & limeade, though I enjoy lemonade, too :0). Speaking of that, do you think this recipe would work just as well with limes-would limes also complement the maple syrup & basil, or would more need to be altered? Thank you & take care!


    I imagine that limes would work well, too!


      Thank you for getting back to me! I’m glad to know the lime will still meld with the flavors well! I’ll make the lime version super soon!


This was fantastic! I used raw honey instead of maple syrup since that is what I had on hand. My almost 2 year old loved it too!


My basil plant is doing well and now I have a delicious drink recipe to try! Thank you!


If you like the lemon basil mix, you should definitely try to make it an adult drink ! A twist on the classic lime and mint mojito!!! This with sparkling wine is heaven! ๐Ÿ™‚

Michael Gallaher

I used Agave syrup and a pinch of cayenne-amazing.


Just picked some basil from the garden and made this. I only used 2T maple as I like my drinks tart. It’s fabulous and the hint of basil adds a refreshing touch.


I enjoy your blog and visit several times a week. I discovered your blog while doing a Master Cleanse. I do 2-3 a year and the results are fantastic every time. After the 3rd day it’s pretty smooth sailing. My cleanses have been from 10-21 days. Given that you say that you “tried” it for 1 -2 days you would be better served not mentioning it as a mistake. If you read the instructions then you should know that the minimum duration for the MC is 10 days. Stating that your body “needs” mote vitamins and minerals than in lemon juice and maple syrup for 10 days. You have no clue yet you state this as fact . Most people do not now much about food and it relates to health. So you are steering your fans away from something that may be great for them. I’m just trying to encourage you to be responsible as a giver of advice. I’m 65 years old and have been doing organic foods since age 22.


I think the “Master Cleanse” and all other “detoxing” that promotes starvation for weight loss versus well-rounded HEALTH, especially for extended periods of time, is UNhealthy.

We need a rainbow of nutrients and that is a fact, Bob.
Please site the sources showing the research that has been done to prove how effective the “Master Cleanse” really is. Thanks.


Just found this looking for a basil lemonade recipe – added to bookmarks, thanks!

Did the Master Cleanse a few years back. Had never fasted before nor dieted in my life. It just felt like time for a good ‘spring clean’.

Fortunately I had a buddy. We talked daily by phone, which helped a ton with staying with it. After about day 4 it does get easier. We both decided to quit on day 8, the point at which we did start seeing benefits such as a clear pink tongue. I’ve pondered doing it again, but never seem to get around to it and would def need a partner to stay motivated.

Fav Summer drink is agua fresca made with fresh fruit, limes or cucumbers. That or a Pim’s Cup cocktail.


This sounds so yummy! I have tons of basil in my garden and this would be so refreshing. Mint would also be awesome…you know the stuff growns like a darn weed, so I have TONS of it! ๐Ÿ™‚


I did the Master cleanse with my husband (about 10 years ago) for 16 days and the results were fantastic! The first 3 days were the hardest but after that, except for a couple of tough detox days with headaches, no hunger but tons of energy. If I could buy out the time I would do it again, but you have to stay really close to restroom facilities because of the high volume of liquid intake.
Love the basil lemonade recipe! Usually I make mine with apple mint since we have a big patch of it in our garden. I grow lots of basil so a use for it other than pesto will be great. Now if only we could grow a lemon tree!!

Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama

Megan, this was delicious and SO refreshing! I finally pulled our 4 foot basil plant and had intended to make a bunch of pesto, until I remembered this. I subbed 3 dates to make it Whole30 approved and I was not let down! Thank you for this yummy recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to make a big batch of it…I think some tequila could be added, too ๐Ÿ˜‰


Would date syrup work for this recipe?

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