It is a well-known fact that summers in Texas can get rather hot, but if we’re being honest, Texas will change up its weather within a matter of hours or even minutes! No matter the weather conditions, a refreshing cold glass of lemonade always sounds delightful. Try out this beverage from the 2014 Creative Arts Contest.
Sparkling Basil Lemonade
Created by Jill Spears of Prosper, TX
3rd Place — 2014 Party Foods Competition
- 4 c. Water
- Ice Cubes
- 3 c. Sugar
- 1 jalapeno chili pepper, sliced
- 2 c. Fresh Basil Leaves
- Fresh Basil Leaves (for garnish)
- 2 (1 liter) bottles club soda
- 2 c. Lemon Juice
Basil Syrup: In a large saucepan, combine water, sugar, and 2 cups basil leaves. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain and discard leaves. Cover and chill syrup 2 to 24 hours.
Lemonade: In a very large punch bowl combine chilled syrup, club soda, and lemon juice. Serve over ice and garnish with jalapeno slices and fresh basil leaves. Makes 16 servings.
We followed up with Jill Spears in 2019 for a video interview. See what blue ribbons she has won in both cooking and arts and crafts contests and what advice she has about competing in Creative Arts contests here.