I went out to the Hamptons this weekend, and wanted to make a pitcher of something sweet but not fruity to share (wine can get so tedious, no?) and so this is what I came up with. Any name ideas are welcome! I can't seem to do better than Basil Limeade Cooler.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into large pieces
Lime Zest (one lime), in strips, if you can
Let the sugar, juice and water come to a boil together, dissolving the sugar. When the sugar is totally dissolved, steep the basil and lime zest for a few minutes. Let this cool entirely, then strain. This is your simple syrup, or beverage base. Mix this with vodka and sparkling water (the ratio is up to you!) in a pitcher with ice and garnish with a little basil. Serves 4 (ish). Also very good without the vodka.