Purple Basil Lemonade

I have a purple basil plant and I have never used this herb in a recipe, in fact, I never known anyone to have cooked it in a dish.  There are a few recipes online using purple basil in food or a drink.  I found a purple basil lemonade on the Cooking Light website.


I like the recipe because the basil gives it a certain kick, to the basic lemonade drink; however, the problem I had with the recipe, was getting the liquid to turn pink or purple. The recipe says to take a 1/2 cup of basil and 4 tablespoons of sugar, pound it with a pestle in a mortar until a paste is formed.  I didn't have a pestle and mortar, so I used my blender and this was my first attempt at this recipe.

It looked more like an apple martini than a pink or purplish lemonade. So, the next day, I tried it again and I did the steps exactly like it's written in the recipe, and again; I got an appletini.  On my final attempt, I decided to pound the leaves just a little with the sugar.  I added the lemon juice with a half of cup of water and I let the mixture set for 8 hours. After 8 hours, the water finally developed a pink hue.  I finished the recipe with the rest of the water and let it set with sliced in half basil leaves for another 6 hours.  Low and behold, I finally got the pink hue, as you see in the first picture.

Would I make it again? Yes, but I think maybe my herbs are too organic for it to turn pink right away.  I might use store bought purple basil or maybe I will just forget about it and drink my green purple basil lemonade.  Do you have any suggestions to get the pink color without a hassle?

Another recipe using purple basil: purple basil biscuits.


  1. If it's a magazine pic it's because they don't actually use the colors from the original photo. They are pretty bad about adding food coloring, using glue for milk etc. The photo often looks nothing like the dish will actually turn out. I complain about that on my blog a lot :)

  2. I've never even HEARD of purple basil...sounds delish, though!

  3. Hi Sheila,

    I have been growing purple basil micro seeds and putting the greens in my morning Green Smoothies.

    I grow other micro greens too. They are very nutritious. You can add them to salads too.


    1. Cool I have to look this up. Are those the seeds that grow on top of the vine?

  4. I don't care about the color. Just make me one when I come visit you!!! It looks yummy.

  5. I've never heard of purple basil. I would get the mortar and pestle - I have one and it is a lot of fun! especially if you grow herbs. It is a pretty color the way it is now. I would love to try this!

  6. This sounds so good and I also have not heard of purple basil

  7. It looks and sounds delicious. I was going to say , they probably added food coloring to get the pink or purple hue. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I can't wait to try it.


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