Grown Up Lemonade Bar with Basil, Blackberry, and Ginger Simple Syrup

Today in France, we are packing our bags for the beach. Ben and I, along with my sister and brother-in-law are catching a 7 a.m. train to Normandy to visit the D-Day beaches, Ben’s one itinerary request for our entire four-week French escapade. I visited the beaches in college when I studied abroad in France, and it was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I’m eager to revisit this solemn place and see if, and how, it will touch me this time.

Having my sister here makes this experience even more special. She is one of my best friends, and I know that being able to relive memories with her later on will (at some point) make our journey seem more real.

Travels to France are certainly not our first foray into the unknown together. As soon as Elizabeth was old enough to see over the top of a card table, we opened our first lemonade stand. My dad insisted that we price ourselves below the neighborhood competition, and my mom (the ultimate hostess) found us an attractive pitcher for serving. Our lemonade business was destined for success.

To this day, lemonade is still one of my favorite drinks for a summer day, whether I am at the beach or hosting a party for a group of friends. Forget the fussy cocktails—one of my favorite ways to entertain in the summer is to set out a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade, along with a few different flavors of simple syrup and some “grown-up” mix-ins (ahem, vodka.) Guests go crazy over mixing their own custom lemonades, and I get to leisurely sip my own, instead of playing bartender!

Grown-Up Lemonade Bar with Basil, Blackberry, and Ginger Simple Syrup // Well-Plated

Grown Up Lemonade Bar with Basil, Blackberry, and Ginger Simple Syrup-Ingredients

A DIY Grown Up Lemonade Bar is ideal for entertaining, because all of the components can be prepped in advance. For my tips and tricks, the recipes for three fabulous simple syrups to mix with the lemonade (basil, blackberry, and ginger), and a star recipe for perfect fresh lemonade that will put the pink powder to shame, visit KitchenAid’s Blog, The Kitchenthusiast. This is my first guest post with KitchenAid, and I am beyond excited to be sharing it.

Grown Up Lemonade Bar with Basil, Blackberry, and Ginger Simple Syrup

Basil, Blackberry, and Ginger Lemonade

5 from 1 vote
How to make homemade lemonade and 3 types of simple syrup—blackberry, basil, and ginger—to flavor them.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 6 cups lemonade, 3/4 cup each syrup

Ingredients
  

For the Fresh Lemonade:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (5 to 8 lemons, depending on size)
  • Additional lemon slices for garnish

For the Basil Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup basil leaves

For the Ginger Simple Syrup:

  • 5 ounces fresh ginger root (peel only if you would like to reuse the ginger)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Blackberry Simple Syrup:

  • 1 1/2 pounds blackberries (fresh or frozen, thawed if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions
 

For the fresh lemonade:

  • Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Juice the lemons with a KitchenAid® Citrus Juicer Attachment. In pitcher, stir together the chilled syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 4 cups water. Garnish with lemon slices and serve chilled over ice.

For the basil simple syrup:

  • Combine the sugar, water, and basil leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Strain and chill.

For the ginger simple syrup:

  • Cut the ginger into thin, round slices, then slice it into small pieces. Place the ginger, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a small, sealed container.
  • Note: If peeled prior to simmering, the leftover cooked ginger will be candied and can be used as a mix-in for cookies, cakes, or even ice cream.

For the blackberry simple syrup:

  • Bring the blackberries, sugar, and water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the berries are falling apart and the sauce has thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. The syrup will thicken as it chills.

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More summertime refreshment:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I hope you enjoy your trip to Normandy. I can tell you that I’ve been multiple times to Arlington National Cemetery and the “Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima” sculpture, and twice to the Manila American Cemetery. Both are WWII sites, and I still am touched by those places. Those places also bring to mind a cemetery in Thailand for POWs who died building the bridge on the river Kwai, and I know if I were to revisit it, it would touch me in the same way. Places like all of these will make us stop to consider the world we live in and how blessed we are, if we let them. I am always deeply moved when I think about the sacrifices that our military forces (and those of our allies and friends) have made for us.

    1. Right you are, Jesusan. Besides the obvious joy of the various foods you can try, visiting these historical sites is an invaluable experience. Erin, do you read up on the history of certain landmarks before (or after) visiting? Do you have any recommended sources on the history? Best,
      D

  2. Erin, this is such a fun idea! I remember we used to dress my little siblings in cute clothes and make them hold the sign for our lemonade stands (even as fourth graders, we knew that cuteness sells :). I also visited the beaches when I studied abroad and was completely bowled over by the experience. PS: I love seeing little bits of your French adventure on IG!

  3. I love reading about your trip. It sounds absolutely amazing over there. Love that you are going to Normandy. My son wants to visit there and talks about it all the time.
    I love idea of grown up lemonade bar. Great party idea :D

  4. I love the look of this beautiful range of simple syrups Erin! I’ve been making a few of my own recently but I never thought to just arrange them for guests to DIY their own lemonade! So cool. Great post… and so glad that you are still having the time of your life in France!! xx

  5. Lemonade is my favorite (I’ve been known to go to Chick-fil-A just for the lemonade on multiple occasions) and with some adult beverages mixed in. . yum. I would love to hear about Normandy. My husband really wanted to go, but we didn’t make it on our trip.

  6. I want all the lemonades! I love this! I wish I could come meet you in France, too! Next time! :)

  7. It sounds like you were destined to be a foodie from a young age! (and a ‘drinkie’!) I love the idea of the ginger simple syrup – lemon and ginger = mmmm.
    You got a mention in my latest post, by the way, which ended up with a little bit of a ‘French theme’. :-)

  8. I hope you’re enjoying your trip Erin! Normandy sounds like a wonderful place! And this drink sounds absolutely amazing :)

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