With the clean slate of the new year and resolutions in full swing, we’re kicking off a month of mocktails, à la Dry January, comin’ at ya every Friday. It starts with this citrusy concoction which I dreamt up while getting my daily fix of sparkling water (something about those bubbles!) and thinking about how much better it would taste with more flavors in the mix. Whether you’re kicking alcohol for the month, or like me, just want a new twist for your daily topo chico, this citrus mocktail is equal parts delicious and refreshing. Plus, unlike its boozy cousin, can be enjoyed in copious amounts, any time of day.
*photos by Kate LeSueur
At first glance, this drink has a lot going on, but the flavors meld so smoothly to create a refreshing concoction.
What size glass you use will really depend on how bubbly you prefer your drink. Serve it in a highball if you like things fizzy, or a short glass for a stronger fruity taste.
Hope you get a chance to try out this mocktail, and if you decide to add a splash of booze, we won’t tell (and highly recommend an ounce or two of gin.)
For the basil lime simple syrup:
- 1 cup packed fresh basil sprigs
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 strips of lime zest
*note: syrup will keep for 1 week, covered and in the refrigerator.
For the mocktail:
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz blood orange juice
- 2 oz sparkling water
- 1/2 oz basil simple syrup
- 1/3 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- lime slices, for garnish
- basil leaves, for garnish
- To make the simple syrup, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature, covered, for 1 hour. Strain the syrup and discard the solids.
- Mix juices and syrup in a cocktail shaker with a couple of ice cubes until chilled. Fill a glass 3/4 of the way with crushed ice and the remaining 1/4 with the cucumber matchsticks.
- Pour the citrus mixture into the glass and top with sparkling water and a squeeze of lime.