Spiked Basil Lemonade (Sugar-Free)

Basil Lemonade RecipeIs there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than a glass of ice cold lemonade? And is there anything more relaxing after a long week of work than a cocktail on Friday afternoon? What do you do if it’s a hot summer Friday afternoon after a long week of work? You combine the two, naturally!  Okay, so it’s not actually Friday yet but assuming that it has already been a long week for you, and it is hot where you are, this Spiked Basil Lemonade is your ticket to cool relaxation.  Just go home, squeeze some lemons, muddle some basil, add water, sweetener and a splash (or more) of vodka and you will thank me.

This recipe came about when a friend mentioned that she’d made some lemonade with Swerve, and suggested that I feature it on my blog.  Being a somewhat savvy blogger, I knew that fresh lemonade, as wonderful as it is, wouldn’t quite garner the attention that I’d like when I post a recipe.  So we kicked around some other ideas and Basil Lemonade came to mind.  I knew I’d seen some recipes for it recently but wasn’t quite certain where.  Then the idea of spiking it and making a cocktail came up and I was sold.  But I was still fairly certain I’d seen it posted on someone else’s blog.  I did a quick Google search and what should the top-ranked post be, but one from my lovely blogging friend, Karen of Tasty Trials.  I KNEW I’d seen it somewhere!  Her version looked lovely, so I merged the Swerve lemonade and hers and the result was phenomenal.  Basil adds such a lovely, summery flavour to lemonade.  Be careful, though.  These are so refreshing, it’s easy to knock back several before you know what you’re doing.  I don’t want to be the cause of drunken summer debauchery!

I am also excited to tell you that this recipe, along with my Chipotle Mango Margaritas, are being featured on the ABC News affiliate in New Orleans this morning.  More specifically, they are being featured by Molly Kimball of Get The Skinny.  Once the video link is up, I will link it here for all to see.  Molly is an RD who has written extensively on nutrition and has teamed up with Swerve to serve up a healthier take on sugary cocktails.  Her segments air Wednesday mornings at 6:20AM and 6:45AM on Good Morning New Orleans.  I don’t live anywhere near New Orleans but I am thrilled to be a part of the segment.  Or at least, that my cocktails will be a part of the segment!

Spiked Basil Lemonade (Sugar-Free)

Yield: 4


  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup Swerve Sweetener (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup premium vodka
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Ice


  1. Mix Swerve and hot water together in a glass measuring cup, stirring to dissolve.
  2. Combine lemon juice, cold water, vodka and Swerve mixture in a large pitcher. Stir well.
  3. Tear basil leaves roughly, and place in the bottom of 4 tumbler glasses. Use a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon to crush basil leaves until they release some of their juices.
  4. Add ice to glasses and divide lemonade mixture between them. Stir and enjoy.


Serves 4. Total carbs per serving is 3g.


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  1. Carolyn, the combination of basil and lemonade sounds so refreshing. Congratulations on having two of your recipes featured on the news!

  2. Oh this is RIGHT up my alleyway :) Love it!

  3. Yes yes and more yes! I love lemon and basil together. It is sooo good! I have this martini that I love to get at this one restaurant and it is lemon and basil together. Love this cocktail! Looks great!

  4. Are you SURE that makes 4 servings? It looks like one to me…..one loooong, cool drink. :) Ok, I’d be under the table after half a glass because I can’t hold liquor at all, but wow, it looks delicious. As we’re edging toward the 100 degree mark this week, I think this will receive serious consideration. Nothing like a good cocktail that carries no calories. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sounds like it would be perfect for this hot and humid SC heat! And that is awesome about your recipes being on that morning show.

  6. So cool! Now I want a cocktail! Or two.

  7. Congratulations on being featured on ABC!! That’s amazing. I can see why.. awesome recipes!

  8. Katharine says:

    It’s 105 here today. And I have ALL the ingredients! This is meant to be. Any idea if a big batch of the swerve/hot water can store well in the fridge like simple syrup does? I guess there is one way to find out! :)

    • Carolyn says:

      It probably will settle out. But that’s okay, you can always rewarm and mix it up again. Unlike sugar, erythritol just won’t stay in solution. When they fix that issue, I will cheer!

  9. Yay! I’m so glad that we finally got to share a cocktail over the internet! And congrats on the feature…that’s awesome!

  10. This drink looks amazing. I am just starting to get into all drinks that have fresh herbs. The flavor is great and it looks so pretty!

  11. Spiked lemonade is the best kind! I love that you added basil!

  12. I’ve got a lemon tree and a basil plant… I’m on it!! We’ll be sipping this delightful cocktail at around 5:00pm tonight:)) Congratulations on your TV segment! I look forward to seeing the link!

  13. This sounds perfect for the 4th! Low cal and refreshing….that way I can rationalize indulging on more than one dessert!

  14. Ooooo lala! Me likey! :D I’m making lavender lemonade granita this weekend… maybe I should make this too!

  15. This reminds me a lot of a restaurant I used to go to in Honolulu…they had ginger-mint lemonade, sans alcohol. I bet that would be delicious with the addition of vodka, too! Can’t wait to try this lemonade this weekend :)

  16. LOVE, Carolyn. I’ve been traveling and could use a spiked beverage right about now.

  17. I don’t think there is any better than a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day……well maybe the lemonade spiked would be pretty fantastic:-) I love your addition of basil, it sounds really refreshing:-) Hugs, Terra

  18. You can make me lemonade any day! I love lemon and basil together.

  19. Congrats of the feature…how cool! As well as is this delightfully refreshing drink, it has been a long week and is now Sunday…I will nee a few ;)

  20. this sounds so good!

  21. Melissa M says:

    I made this for 4th of July but instead of basil I used mint and Smirnoff fluffed vodka because those are what I had on hand. I have to say it went over VERY well. Thanks for the inspiration!


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