Aleppo Pepper Basil Lemonade

by Carol Peterman

A soothing herby basil note and a little kick of lingering heat from brightly colored Aleppo pepper flakes gives this lemonade a zippy twist that will perk up any lazy summer afternoon. The pepper basil simple syrup can also be used for all sorts of creative cocktails if you are looking for something with more than just a peppery kick.

3/4 cup Aleppo Pepper Basil Simple Syrup (recipe below)
2 cups fresh lemon juice
3 cups water

Sprig of fresh basil for garnish
slices of lemon for garnish

Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and water in a large pitcher. Stir to combine. Add a nice sprig of basil and a few slices of fresh lemon to garnish. Chill until ready to serve.

Packing individual servings in mason jars makes it easy to pack and serve for a picnic.

Aleppo Pepper Basil Simple Syrup

1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 ounces fresh basil (leaves and stems)
1 ½ tablespoons Aleppo pepper flakes

Combine all the ingredients together in a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let the syrup boil for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Once it's cool, strain and refrigerate for use in beverages.