If you are staying close to home, try this drink from Austin's Hillside Farmacy via Imbibe Magazine. It is a versatile drink that woks well as a non-alcoholic beverage, or you can add rum or whiskey if you like. I settled on rum and thought it helped tone down the sweetness of the strawberries. I cut the syrup recipe in half for a smaller batch. Sipping it feels like a beachside vacation.
1 1/2 ounces Pickpocket Soda syrup (recipe below)
4-5 ounces soda water
1 1/2 ounces Cruzan rum (or Jack Daniel's whiskey), optional
Basil sprig for garnish
Combine ingredients into an ice-filled glass, stir and garnish. (Serves 1)
Pickpocket Syrup (recipe can be cut in half for a smaller portion)
2 pounds fresh strawberries, puréed
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup of fresh basil
Place strawberry purée, sugar, water and lemon juice and zest in a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add basil and vinegar, then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, strain mixture using a fine-mesh strainer, store in refrigerator for up to one week.