We adore the combination of strawberries and basil and strawberries and Balsamic vinegar, so we wondered: what happens when you combine all three ingredients ... in drink form? Pure, summery refreshment. Fragrant, fizzy, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet, On The Lamb's strawberry and Balsamic basil soda is destined to become our non-alcoholic drink of choice for spring and summer brunches and picnics. It consists of a simple formula: strawberry-Balsamic purée + basil simple syrup + seltzer or club soda.
There's a lot of room for variation in whipping up the components and assembling the drinks – use more or less vinegar in the purée (though we found the amount called for just enough to bring out the sweetness of the strawberries), substitute sugar for agave nectar in the syrup, mix the drink sweeter or less sweet, punch it up with sparkling wine instead of fizzy water.
We can imagine loads of other uses for the purée and simple syrup, too, such as spooning the purée over desserts or whisking it into vinaigrette and using the basil syrup in iced tea or cocktails.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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