adapted from: Serious Eats
makes: 1 mocktail
In my opinion it’s hard to beat a well made cocktail, especially this time of year when you can muddle seasonal fruits and herbs for drinks like caipirinhas, smashes, and mojitos. However, sometimes a booze-free drink is in order. Perhaps you’re hosting a baby shower, you want a more hydrating drink but not necessarily plain old water, or you’re that cool parent who makes fake cocktails for their kids. I had some leftover basil and English cucumber from another recipe and I always have club soda in the fridge, so I thought I would treat myself to a drink that is fresh, pleasantly tart, and sweetly refreshing. This is one of those recipes that is easily tailored to your own taste. I would start with 1 ounce of lime juice (2 ounces ended up being too tart in my opinion) and 1 tablespoon of simple syrup and go from there. Shake, taste, then add more lime juice and/or simple syrup if necessary, shake again and proceed with the recipe.
This version suits me:
2 inch piece of English cucumber thinly sliced
5 basil leaves
2 tablespoons simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
In a cocktail shaker muddle the cucumber slices and basil leaves with the simple syrup. Add lime juice, ice and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
Strain into a cocktail glass, top with sparkling water and garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.