Who can resist buying those deep red, shiny, local strawberries when they’re finally in season? When I get my hands on these beauties, I usually put them on ice cream, make Strawberry Shortcake, put them in a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette or make my Strawberry-Basil Rosé Punch. With its heady scent of basil from the garden and juicy sweetness of ripe berries, this drink just tastes like summer. If our less-than-sunny weather starts to get you down, I suggest that you buy a bottle of Rosé (I recommend Barnard Griffin) and make this punch. I guarantee that it will bring on summer, no matter what the weather is like!
Strawberry Basil Rose’ Punch
10 strawberries, quartered
½ cup + 2 tablespoons basil-flavored simple syrup (see recipe below*)
1 bottle dry rosé, chilled
2½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Basil sprigs, for garnish
Combine strawberries and simple syrup in a large pitcher. With a wooden spoon, break strawberries into chunks. Fill pitcher half way with ice, pour rose’ and lemon juice over ice, and stir. Garnish with basil sprigs. Serves 8
*Basil Simple Syrup– Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a saucepan and heat until dissolved. Add ½ cup packed basil leaves and steep until cooled. Remove leaves.