I love throwing parties. I hate how much work it is to throw a party. So over the years I've picked up a few shortcuts to make the job a little easier. My favorite of which is: pitcher drinks. You can make them the night before, pop them in the fridge, and the next day your guests can drink to their hearts' content while you sit back and relax.
I've made lots of pitcher drink recipes over the years, but one of the simplest, and one of the best loved, is my strawberry basil margaritas. In fact, they've become so popular that if I have a party and don't make some, one of my friends is sure to ask, "hey, did you make those strawberry basil margaritas?" So I always have a pitcher on hand, because it's important to keep your guests happy. And did I mention how easy they are to make?
1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate
10 strawberries (or 12 if you're using smaller ones from the farmer's market or your backyard.)
8 basil leaves
2 to 2 1/2 cups tequila (gold or silver)
Empty the limeade concentrate into a pitcher. Add 2 1/2 cans of water and 1 1/2 (18 ounces, or 2 1/4 cups) cans of tequila (or a bit less, if you don't want your drinks to be quite as strong).
Hull the strawberries, slice lengthwise, and add to the pitcher. Crumple the basil a little in your hands (this will help the basil flavor release into the drink) and add it to the pitcher, too. Place the pitcher, covered, in the fridge overnight, or for at least four hours.
When you remove the pitcher from the fridge, your margaritas will be a lovely pale pink color. Now all you have to do is serve them and wait for the compliments to pour in.
Nancy Mitchell loves gardening, throwing parties, and mixing drinks. You can find more of her recipes on her blog, The Backyard Bartender.
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(Images: Nancy Mitchell)