Monday, June 6, 2011

Strawberry Basil White Wine Spritzer

The weather in North Carolina has tken a turn toward the hot and humid.  With temperatures in the mid 90's and the humidity hovering around 90%, it feels more like August than early June.  This kind of heat made us crave a clean and refreshing signature cocktail for the Tiki 2011summer season.

We were inspired by the abundance of fresh strawberries and basil at the Durham farmer's market and this quick and simple cocktail was born.  It is clean and light and loaded with flavor.  It's not too sweet and not too dry and tastes like a sunny afternoon.  Made with macerated strawberries and a basil infused simple syrup, this has cocktail has a little upfront work, but then everything can sit in the refrigerator until you are ready to start drinking.  Mama Ozzy highly recommends you give it a try!

Strawberry Basil White Wine Spritzer

1 lb fresh strawberries coarsely chopped
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Basil-infused Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

White wine (Chablis or Pinot Grigio)
Club soda
Crushed ice

Macerate the strawberries by combining them with sugar and covering and allowing to refrigerate one hour, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the simple syrup by combining granulated sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bringing to a boil. Remove from heat and add basil leaves.  Allow basil to steep in hot syrup until cooled to room temperature.  Strain most of the basil leaves out of the syrup (I like to leave some in for color).

In a large glass filled 2/3 full with crushed ice, combine 2-3 Tbsp macerated strawberries (and their liquid), 2-3 Tbsp basil-infused simple syrup.  Fill glass 2/3 full with chilled white wine.  Fill the rest of the glass with club soda, stir and serve.

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