Water ice is an iconic summer treat in the Philadelphia area. The infusion of the lemon basil (our new favorite herb!) offers a refreshing treat on a hot afternoon, and looks elegant when served in a stemless wine glass for an easy dessert if a friend pops over to hang out on your porch.
Summer in Philly is hot, sometimes too hot to eat and water ice is a refreshing and light dessert which features a burst of lemon flavor and a taste of basil perfect for a hot summer day. It’s simple and elegant when served in a stemless wine glass.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- peel from one lemon
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon basil
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Add the water, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon basil to a medium saucepan. Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil.
Once the mixture comes to a boil turn the heat down slightly and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let this mixture cool for 15 minutes.
Strain the mixture into a glass baking pan and discard the lemon peel and basil leaves. Add the lemon juice and swirl together and stick in the freezer.
After 30 minutes take a fork and scrape the ice off of the sides of the bread pan. Continue this process every 30 minutes or so until the mixture is slushie and frozen. (about 2 hours)
Scoop into dessert dishes and serve or cover and keep in the freezer.
The flavors of the lemon basil water ice reminded me of a basil mezcal margarita I had last year at Limantour in Mexico City. The lemon and basil pair wonderfully with a smoky mezcal. Simply prepare as normal in a stemless wine glass and pour 1 oz of mezcal over the water ice . Tequila or vodka also work well.