Recipe by Bill Kim
Start to Finish: 10 minutes (plus 2 hours for steeping)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh Thai basil or regular basil leaves
6 large lemons, 2 halved and seeded and 4 juiced (about 1 cup juice)
In a large bowl, using a muddler or the handle on a wooden spoon, smash the sugar, basil, and lemon halves until very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 8 cups water and the lemon juice. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors meld, about 2 hours. Strain into a pitcher. Add ice to the pitcher just before serving.