Basil is distinct, versatile, and is one of North America’s most popular herbs. The peppery, minty, and sweet flavours of basil pair incredibly well with the subdued sweetness of a strawberry, which is why it was a no-brainer to combine them for this drink. Fresh as can be, cheers to your summer evening!
For the cocktail:
- 1 tbsp (6 g) pink peppercorns 1 tbsp (6 g) pink peppercorns
- ¾ cup (150 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar ¾ cup (150 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
- ¾ cup (180 ml) water ¾ cup (180 ml) water
- 2 cups (332 g) sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen 2 cups (332 g) sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 4 strips lime zest 4 strips lime zest
- ¼ tsp (1 g) cayenne pepper ¼ tsp (1 g) cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup (13 g) fresh basil leaves, packed and torn in half ⅓ cup (13 g) fresh basil leaves, packed and torn in half
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon or lime juice 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon or lime juice
- 1 bottle (750 ml) Rosé sparkling wine (pink moscato or pink cava wine) 1 bottle (750 ml) Rosé sparkling wine (pink moscato or pink cava wine)
For the garnish:
- whole or sliced strawberries whole or sliced strawberries
- fresh basil leaves fresh basil leaves
- pink peppercorns pink peppercorns
Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the pink peppercorns.
In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, combine Redpath® Granulated Sugar with the water, sliced strawberries, lime zest, cayenne pepper, and pink peppercorns. On medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add fresh basil leaves. Stir to submerge leaves and turn off heat. Cover and allow mixture to infuse for at least an hour, or until cool. After syrup has infused and cooled, strain the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, being careful not to press down onto the solids as this may turn the syrup cloudy. Discard solids.
Stir in the lime juice.
In a large pitcher filled halfway with ice, pour the strawberry-basil-lime simple syrup over the ice.
Top off the pitcher with the bottle of rosé sparkling wine. With a long-handled spoon, stir until well combined.
Pour into chilled glasses filled partway with ice. Garnish with fresh strawberries, basil leaves, and a few pink peppercorns.
*Pink peppercorns can be found at any local supermarket or bulk store.
*If pink peppercorns are unavailable, you may omit them or substitute them for black peppercorns, which will give the drink a more peppery flavour.