Refreshing Summer Drinks

Basil is a nice addition to plenty of easy cocktails: add a torn leaf or two to your gin and tonic, or tap a little into the bottom of a mojito. But these drinks are a change of pace from the classic and the ordinary that feature the fresh green flavor of this herb, and are just right for summer sipping.

Honey-Basil Lemonade

Honey-Basil Lemonade Recipe


This simple lemonade combines fresh basil with a touch of honey.

Makes 1 Quart, Serves 4

1 cup fresh juice from 10 to 12 lemons
1/2 cup honey
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
Pinch salt
3 cups cold water
1 quart ice
Basil leaves for garnish

Combine lemon juice, honey, basil leaves, and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Discard solids. Add cold water and whisk to combine. Add ice. Serve in ice-filled glasses garnished with basil leaves.

Cucumber and Basil Slush Cocktail


(Photo Credit : Kelly Carámbula, Serious Eats, 2012)

As temperatures and humidity rise, having some frozen drinks in your arsenal becomes more and more essential. This one offers double-cooling action with loads of ice and a soothing cucumber in the mix, plus fresh lime and basil. Vodka’s an easy partner that won’t dominate the flavor—try Karlsson’s Gold, which has a slightly floral side and rich texture—but if you prefer another spirit, feel free to experiment.

Makes 2 cocktails

1 kirby cucumber, sliced
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups ice
Garnish: cucumber slice

Place all the ingredients in the blender. Using the ice crush setting, blend until all the ingredients are even and finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

Pour the slush into a glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a straw.

Apple Cider Mimosas


Photo Credit: Becky Hardin, 2014

This is a perfect cocktail and  this recipe is just in time for those Fall and Winter Holiday Brunches!

Serves 6

1 gallon  good quality of Apple Cider
Light Brown Sugar
1/4 cup water
One 750-milliliter bottle Champagne or Prosecco sparkling wine, chilled*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Apple slices, for garnish

Dip the top of each champagne glass into water and then dip in the brown sugar to coat.

Dip each apple slice in the lemon juice to prevent browning.

Fill each champagne flute with ½-3/4 full of apple cider.Top with champagne. Garnish each flute with an apple slice and serve immediately.

*Bartender’s Notes:
For a non-alcoholic option, substitute  two 12-ounce cans ginger ale or lemon-lime soda or Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider for the champagne. Parenting Team FC Contributor