Strawberry Basil Champagne Sparklers
My mother raised me to never leave the house in sweatpants, which is amusing considering that I spend 89% of my off-work hours in ill-fitting collegiate apparel.
My at-home wardrobe rotation goes something like this:
- On the bottom: Decent Notre Dame men’s sweatpants; butter-stained Notre Dame men’s sweatpants; Target junior-brand leggings that I wouldn’t even wear to the mailbox; KU Jayhawk sweatpants.
- On the top: Old Notre Dame T-shirt #1, #2, or #3-37; old race T-shirt to remind myself that I am athletic; whatever Ben has in his clean laundry pile.
Yes, I am a picture of class.
Despite my “cozy” at-home style, I do still change into a pair of jeans to go to the grocery store. I can’t help it. Mom, your work has paid off.
Ben does not understand this personal commitment to keeping my public appearances sweatpants-free (note: leggings and yoga pants do not count), which causes its own series of marital discord, particularly when we’re leaving the apartment for errands and he walks out in what he insists are not sweatpants, but “track” pants. I see no difference and would appreciate a pair of (reasonably clean) cords—but then again, I did give myself a pass in the yoga-pant category, so maybe I shouldn’t judge.
Whatever your personal feelings regarding sporting sweats (or track or yoga pants) in public, sometimes a girl just needs a reminder that she’s a lady. Yes, I do occasionally style my hair in something besides a middle-school-esque messy bun. Yes, I do own pants that fit me. Yes, I sip Strawberry Basil Champagne Sparklers.
Whether your are looking for a cocktail for your Mother’s Day brunch, a fun girls night kick-starter, or a light summer sipper, Strawberry Basil Champagne Sparklers are an ideal choice. If you’ve never tried strawberry and basil together, get ready to go bonkers. These two lovers are flavor-pair perfection.
To create our pretty-in-pink-drink: We whip up a quick simple syrup (sugar and water get friendly on the stove), steep with fresh basil leaves, then muddle with fresh strawberries. Next, we let our concoction hang out in the fridge for a few hours, until the flavors are well mixed and everyone’s feeling groovy.
A quick trip through the strainer and we are left with an outrageously summery, sweet, succulent, strawberry-basil syrup that I’ve been mixing with just about every liquid in my house (hello, strawberry basil lemonade, strawberry basil iced tea, and strawberry basil ice cream float!). Place a few tablespoons of our beautiful strawberry basil syrup in a champagne glass (or wine glass if you are me and don’t own a champagne glass), top with bubbly, and ta-dah! Class in a glass: Strawberry Basil Champagne Sparklers.
Mom, thank you for inspiring me to keep in classy, even if I am sipping my Strawberry Basil Champagne Sparkler out of a wine glass, while wearing men’s sweatpants. At least I made my bed this morning.
Strawberry Basil Champagne Sparklers
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 pint strawberries — (fresh or frozen and thawed) hulled and sliced into quarters
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice — about 1/2 large lemon
- 1 bottle dry white sparkling wine — (champagne, prosecco or cava will all work nicely, chilled)
In a medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Stir in fresh basil leaves, remove pan from heat, and allow mixture to sit for 35 minutes while basil steeps.
In a medium bowl, mash the strawberries with the lemon juice, until strawberries well crushed. Pour basil syrup into the bowl, then mix thoughly to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator to allow flavors to infuse for at least 4 hours. Strain mixture into a sealable jar or container, then return to fridge until ready to use.
To serve: place 2 tablespoons of strawberry-basil syrup in the bottom of a champagne glass. Top with sparkling wine. Sip and enjoy.
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