In Herball: A Generall Historie of Plants, the sixteenth century herbalist John Gerard wrote that basil would take away the pain of a scorpion sting. We use it to take away the sting of a hot summer day. Herb and citrus oils blend sweetly in this syrup that is anything but simple.
- 2 cups basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1 lemon, washed and sliced into 1/4″ thick rounds
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- Storage vessel of choice (make sure it has a tight-fitting lid)
- Fine mesh strainer
In a medium saucepan, combine basil, lemons and water. Tear basil leaves and drop over the mixture. Bring to a soft boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain out the basil and lemon and return the liquid to the saucepan (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Add sugar and stir until it fully dissolves. Let cool to room temperature. Pour into airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.