Basil is a great flavor, especially in the summer. I think of sweet and salty caprese salads or savory and light pestos - try my vegan version here. No matter what, basil always adds a fresh and summery taste!
After my vegan pesto, I had a lot of leftover basil that I couldn't let just sit around. What better, and easier, way to use it up than to put it into drinks? These are fast, versatile, and will definitely impress your friends at the next weekend barbecue. They can be made in a few hours before and in large batches. It takes no time and the results are delicious and refreshing.
The first is a basil watermelon frozen margarita that is the perfect combination of sweet with a hint of pepper and mint. This is perfect for a night in or a friendly barbecue, sure to refresh and step up your current marg game.
The second is a berry basil spritz that will satisfy any carbonation fans. The club soda gives a nice bite to contrast the sweet mixed berries and subtle agave. This drink is great for a summer grill out, day or night.
Basil Watermelon Frozen Margarita
For serving of four
- 3.5 cups of watermelon, cubed
- 6 large basil leaves
- 10 ice cubes
- 6 oz. of silver tequila
- Add the watermelon to a blender. Add half the basil and half the ice cubes. Blend until a slushy texture.
- Taste to test the balance of flavors and add more basil accordingly. You don't want to add all the ice at once otherwise it can become too watery. Add the remaining ice once desired basil flavor is achieved.
- Add half of the tequila and blend. Taste test again and add more tequila as necessary. You don't want the tequila to be an overpowering flavor, the focus is on the combination of watermelon and basil.
- Give one last quick couple pulses and put in fridge to stay cool or serve immediately.
Basil Berry Spritz
For serving of four
- 4 10x bottle of Schweppes club soda
- 2 cups frozen mixed berries - my favorite is from Trader Joe's
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 5 basil leaves
- 8 oz. silver tequila
- Pour one bottle of club soda into a 32 oz. (minimum) pitcher. Add basil leaves. Grab a large, long handled wooden spoon and push down on the leaves until they are a darker green and appear to be broken up. If you have a muddler, use this instead. You want to release the flavor of the basil into the liquid.
- Add the agave and frozen berries, stirring for about a full minute.
- Add the tequila, stirring again. Add ice cubes to help stay chilled.
- Serve immediately or place in refrigerator until ready to serve.