Erika Preval - Simply Put

Tag: recipe

Guest Post: Must Make Basil Simple Syrup Lemonade

Through Charm, I’ve been able to partner with some of the most talented entrepreneurs in Atlanta. See what fun my friend Kate and I had making basil simple syrup and get the yummy recipe to make at home. It’s what’s cooking at Camp Rock Paper Scissors!

Via Kate Byars, Kate Byars Photography

What fun! I joined Manners Maven, Erika Preval, who has made a name in Atlanta teaching etiquette to kids, for a fun afternoon of making her Homemade Basil Lemonade – a refreshing and sophistocated summer bev for the little ones.

Now you may have had a restaurant cocktail or two with some delicious herbal simple syrups in it (I know I have!), but it is quite the Lovely Southern Hostess thing to have this on hand to dash here and there into drinks of all sorts, you feel like it.

In fact, Erika is doing this fun kitchen activity in her upcoming Camp Rock Paper Scissors, where kids will take the blend home to parents to sample. Camp occurs on June 19+20th at the Georgian Terrace and the Westside Provisions District. She has a spot or two, if you would like to be one of the last sign ups!


Want to know how to do this recipe at home?

Let’s get to it! All you need is basil, water, sugar and a whole lotta lemons.


First, make the simple syrup.  All you need is equal parts water and sugar. If you want to be sassy, you can match your cup to your dress, as Erika has. Boil equal parts water and sugar, and then let it cool. It’s really pretty easy to do, and a lovely kitchen staple to have on hand. But, if you are worried about this bit, read a guide to simple syrup-making, like this one, on a post by Stir and Garnish. I may add, also, that with the leftover simple syrup, you can easily add sweetness to other bevs and … drumroll please, to morning iced coffees – which are a soon to be MUST in Hotlanta!



After you take the simple syrup off the heat, add a handful of basil. Remember, use fresh basil, and pinch off individual leaves, one at a time. Basil stems do not make for tasty syrup!


With kids, this is a fun time to talk about gardening and where our food comes from … even if it is the delicious and sweet kind!


Steep the basil for 3 minutes and then strain out the leaves.

Then, slice the lemons and make yourself a yummy lemonade while the simple syrup cools. Easy peasy. I recommend making homemade lemonade, using a recipe like this one.… which, as it turns out, also uses simple syrup!  Did I say it would be awesome to have on hand, or what? (Or … cheat, and buy some at the store. Just make sure you buy a high quality, mostly juice recipe).


Add a dash of basil simple syrup to a glass of your lovely lemonade, garnish with more fresh basil, and serve with ice (mommas and daddies can also add a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to the mixture for an, ahem, Big Kid basil lemonade).

But wait, there’s more! Jar the basil simple syrup for up to 3 refrigerated weeks. AND, make a few extras as gifts for your friends. Or, party favors for kids at the next birthday party. Tie them up with a cute bow or a tag, distribute and you, my friend, will be the talk of all of Pinterestdom for the rest of the week. Or, at least the kids summer activities circle. Or, the cocktail club. Whichever. You decide. =)




If you liked this story and want to read more about Atlanta Moms, check our Every Mom Home Tour.


just add honey – The Perfect Blend



There’s a lot that goes into the branding of a business. Anyone who’s gone through the branding process, likely employing the assistance of a graphic designer, will certainly walk away with a newfound awareness and appreciation of font names and Pantone colors. There’s something particularly special about the branding of Charm Partner just add honey, however. You see, the “J” in just add honey is the catalyst for its owner, Brandi Shelton, turning a hobby into a thriving local business.

The  just add honey “J” is much more than a letter – it’s a symbol. Brandi lost her mother to breast cancer in 2005. Her mother, Jean, signed her name with the “J” that adorns each container of Brandi’s specially blended teas. Describing her mother as the B. Smith or Martha Stewart of their family, Brandi chose to use the “J” in her branding so that she’d have a part of her mother with her wherever she went.

Brandi moved to Atlanta from her native New Orleans during the week of the 1996 Olympics – the same week her husband made his way here from Massachusetts, though they’d not meet for four years. Although she earned a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Tech, it was during Brandi’s time as an exchange student in Europe that her interest in tea blossomed. While there, she developed the hobby of blending different varieties of tea, which continued after her return to the United States. Years later,  those skills would be honed while attending courses at the Specialty Tea Institute. In fact, Brandi will be speaking at World Tea East in Atlanta this October.


just add honey berries! tea is a favorite at Charm events

June is National Iced Tea Month, and Brandi has been celebrating by introducing a new just add honey tea blend each week. The soon-to-be mother of three (the latest addition to the family arrives in July) currently has a pitcher containing a blend of berries! and mango rose in her fridge.  Surely, your fridge could use the charm of just add honey tea. I’ve snagged Brandi’s sangria recipe for you – perfect for these warm summer days. You can find just add honey tea online,  at many retail locations in Atlanta, including Charm Partners The Boxcar Grocer and Le Petit Marche, or being sipped through paper straws during a Charm Etiquette event!