Here’s a fresh spin on cocktail hour. Our Lemon-Basil Spritzer recipe calls for Champagne or dry sparkling wine, but you can just as easily swap in a liter of lemon-flavored seltzer water for a mocktail with major summer appeal. We kept the list of ingredients short and sweet: lemon, fresh basil leaves, our simple syrup, and your bubbly mix-in of choice. What makes it such a winner is that you can easily keep all of the ingredients on hand throughout the summer so that you’re always ready to whip up a batch. It is the perfect start to an alfresco dinner or a porch-sitting session. Top each glass with a garnish of basil leaves and lemon peel twists and you’ll have a festive, seasonal treat that’s bound to dazzle the taste buds every time. When those dog days come around, you won’t find a more thirst-quenching and refreshing companion.
- 1 batch Simple Syrup
- 3 (1-inch-long) lemon peel strips
- 3 large fresh basil leaves
- 1 (750-ml) bottle chilled Champagne or dry sparkling wine
- Garnish: basil leaves and lemon peel twists
- Step 1
Prepare Simple Syrup. Remove from heat; stir in lemon peel strips and large fresh basil leaves. Cover and steep 30 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Cool to room temperature, 1 hour. Pour cooled syrup into a 2- to 3-qt. pitcher. Stir in bottle chilled Champagne or dry sparkling wine. Fill 6 stemless wineglasses with ice. Pour cocktail evenly into glasses; garnish with basil leaves and lemon peel twists.
For a mocktail, substitute Champagne or dry sparkling wine with 1 liter of lemon-flavored seltzer water.