We have had an amazing crop of basil this year! It seems like the bunches are more like bouquets of basil. If you love pesto using up your basil is easy- just make big batches and freeze in small containers. If endless amounts of pesto aren’t your thing, check out our post on 10 Ideas for Basil. The list keeps growing! Basil is a great pairing for summer fruit like strawberries, peaches, and watermelon. I’m really hoping that our basil crop overlaps with the New York peach harvest, but until then this simple syrup will be a great addition to the kitchen. It’s so easy to make, and can be added to beverages like lemonade, summer cocktails, and recipes that call for liquid sweetener. My simple syrup is a little brown because I used unbleached sugar, if you prefer a clear syrup use bleached white sugar.
Just simmer basil, sugar, and water on the stove until the sugar dissolves. Strain the basil leaves. Simple syrup stores in the refrigerator for up 2 – 3 weeks. Store in glass for best flavor.
Basil Simple Syrup
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
Simmer on medium heat. Stir frequently, remove from heat when sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Strain and store in glass container in the refrigerator.
Serving Suggestions. Add to lemonade, citrus based cocktails, and in place of liquid sweeteners in desserts. Basil pairs well with watermelon, strawberries, lemon, and peaches. Combine puréed watermelon, seltzer water, and basil simple syrup to taste for basil watermelon soda. Garnish drinks with a sprig of fresh basil.