Cucumber basil lemonade

By Corbin Tomaszeski
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When the mercury rises and the heat is on, no drink says summer quite like lemonade. This humble beverage gets a modern makeover with cucumber and basil—your kids’ lemonade stand will never be the same.



  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
  • 7 cups cold water
  • 2 cups sliced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves


  1. In a large glass pitcher, combine sugar and lemon juice. Stir to mix until sugar is completely dissolved. Add lemon slices and water, then cucumbers and basil.
  2. Refrigerate for four hours.
  3. Fill four tall glasses with ice and pour lemonade overtop. Garnish each glass with a lemon slice and serve with a tall straw.


Variation: Summer Chiller

  1. Fill a blender halfway with ice. Add lemonade and a splash of vodka, gin, or bourbon.
  2. Purée the mixture until slushy and serve.

Variation 2: Rosemary Berry Fizz

  1. Replace the cucumbers with two cups of sliced strawberries. Reduce the water to five cups. Add twp cans of club soda. Replace the basil with rosemary.

Variation 3: Watermelon and Raspberry Lemonade

  1. In a blender or food processor, purée three cups chopped watermelon.
  2. Fill an ice cube tray with mixture and freeze overnight.
  3. Prepare the lemonade as instructed above, eliminating the cucumber and basil and adding 1 1/2 cups raspberries.
  4. Fill four glasses with frozen watermelon cubes and pour the lemonade overtop. Garnish each tall glass with a lemon slice and a small sprig of mint. (You could also add 1 1/2 ounces of gin or tequila to each glass.)



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