Hands down, basil is my favorite herb. I love the versatility of basil – it instantly freshens up any salad, soup, or pasta, it can elevate a homemade sauce, it pairs well with cheese or fruit, and can add depth and revitalization to a summery beverage.
This summer my family’s garden yielded a bounty of basil, much to my appreciation. Even so, I found myself needing ways to incorporate my favorite herb into various dishes and drinks, which led me to create this summer-sipping sparkling delight!
My Strawberry Basil Sparkler is naturally sweet with a hint of earthiness and bubbly-pizzazz. It’s a drink that’s packed with garden goodness and is full of fresh flavor. BONUS: it can be made as a cocktail or mocktail!
Strawberry Basil Sparkler
Prep Time: <10 minutes
- A fat handful of fresh basil leaves, washed
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries,*** cut in half
- 2 big lemons,*** freshly squeezed
- 3oz of good-quality gin
- 1oz of St. Germain (or other brand of elderflower liqueur)
- 1 12oz can of sparkling water (plain, strawberry, or lemon flavored is recommended – I prefer strawberry flavored)
- Optional: 2 packets of stevia (I use Truvia) or another type of natural sweetener (like a squeeze of agave nectar)
Let’s do this!
- Start by muddling the basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. This process will extract the essence of the herb while adding flavor to the drink.
- Add in the strawberries and muddle until the berries look like a liquidy jam.
- Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, natural sweetener (if using), & ice into the cocktail shaker. Give a good shake to combine.
- Strain into a mason jar or other glass of choice, making sure to drain all the contents as best as you can (there’s a lot of good stuff in there so shake it out of that shaker!). Fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water.
- If desired, cut a slit halfway through a whole strawberry and/or top with a whole basil leaf as a garnish for your glass.
* I do not endorse drinking in excess (drunkenness), underage drinking nor consuming alcohol if you’re an addict or are in recovery. Know your limits. Please drink responsibly.
**You can easily tailor this drink to serve one person. I wrote this recipe making two drinks in a single cocktail shaker and found it to be a perfect portion to serve two people. If using alcohol and one can of sparkling water, this recipe should yield about two 8oz drinks. You can always increase the amount of sparkling water used if you desire a larger-sized drink.
***If making this drink as a mocktail, I recommend increasing the amount of strawberries used from 1 cup to 1 ½ cups. Additionally, add another lemon to the recipe so you can receive more juice (from a total of 3 lemons). You can also “stretch” the drink by adding more sparkling water.