Cleansing Lemonade with Basil Syrup and Chanca Piedra

This incredibly refreshing and cleansing lemonade is boosted with the powers of Chanca Piedra. Chanca Piedra is a weed easily found in Central and South America, also known as "stone breaker". This powerful weed is known to be a superior gallbladder and kidney tonic and infamous for its ability to dissolve stones. Medical journals have found it effective for urinary tract infection, inflammation, swelling, water retention, kidney stones, and digestive disorders. 

In the Amazon, it's used as a liver tonic, and often administered as a tonic to liver problems such as hepatitis B. Our powder is an extract powder, so it's very strong. 1 tsp goes a long way. It's an excellent companion to juices, smoothies, detoxing tea's, or even green soups, to enhance the cleansing and tonifying effect to the kidneys, gallbladder and liver. 

Whole-lemon lemonade with basil syrup and edible flower ice cubes

Recipe + Photography by Silvia Bifaro

Of Salvia Limone

Ingredients

For the lemonade

  • 3 to 5 lemons, depending on the size (organic or unwaxed)
  • 1 L water
  • 1/4cup coconut or raw sugar (reduce or eliminate if you'd like it less sweet)

For the basil simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup of basil (pressed)
  • 1Tbsp Chanca Piedra powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar, coconut sugar or even honey or maple! 

Method

BASIL SYRUP

  • Wash the basil and add it to a saucepan with the water and the sugar. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

  • After 10 min turn off the flame and leave the basil to infuse for 30-40 min more before removing it. Give to the leaves a squeeze and discard them. The strength of the syrup will depend also on the strength of the basil flavor.

I save the syrup in a small glass bottle with a fresh basil leaf inside.
Lemonade

  •  Wash and cut the lemons in pieces to remove all the pits (seeds) inside, those    would otherwise make the lemonade bitter.
  • In a bowl mix the lemons, the sugar, and a cup of the water ( I also used 1 lime as I had it around). Add the mixture to a food processor and blend until completely mixed and chopped in small pieces.
  • Drain the mixture through a sieve over a bowl, then press through as much juice as you can. To get the rest of the liquid I squeeze the mixture again in a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

I feel that the leftover lemon can probably be candied. At the moment I’ve added some to some preserved pears and to a lemon cake.

You can add as much basil syrup as you like to make the lemonade more herbaceous and interesting.

To make this lemonade extra special for Sunday brunch, I’ve frozen some edible flowers into cocktail ice blocks and added to large jars used as glasses.

 

 

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