Strawberry-Basil Fence Hopper

Well, it’s Labor Day, the unofficial end of the summer. I’m not going to lie…I’m ready for fall. In fact, I started dreaming about back-to-school, cooler days, changing leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and football season the on July 5th. But I’m a realist. I knew it would be a while before I could truly enjoy my favorite season, so I embraced everything I could about the summer—primarily the fresh produce and refreshing drinks.

I had to share one of our favorite summertime concoctions with you. This particular beverage is a variation of one from my favorite cocktail recipe book, Shake, called the Blackberry Fence Hopper. The original recipe calls for blackberries to be muddled with honey and lemon juice, then shaken with vodka, strained, and topped with seltzer. I decided to replace the blackberries with one of my favorite spring and summer combinations: strawberries and basil. It did not disappoint! It’s light, flavorful, and really easy to drink. While the recipe calls for vodka, you could always substitute rum, or leave the booze out and make it into a fabulous mocktail.

If you are clinging to summer, dreaming of late spring, or just in need of a fantastic (but not too boozy) cocktail on a hot evening, give this one a try. You wont be sorry.

1/4 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil

1 shot honey

1 shot freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 shot vodka

Club soda or sparkling water, to taste

1. Place the strawberries, basil leaves, honey, and lemon juice in a large shaker. Muddle the ingredients to release the juice of the strawberries and the oil of the basil, while combining the ingredients together.

2. Add the vodka to the shaker. Fill the the shaker with ice up to the liquid line. Tightly affix the lid to the shaker and shake the contents vigorously for 15 seconds.

3. Strain the strawberry-basil mixture equally into two Collins glasses filled with ice. Top with club soda and stir to combine. Garnish with fresh strawberries, sprigs of basil, or both, along with paper straws. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 drinks

🍓 Lightly spray the inside of the shot glass with cooking spray/oil before measuring the honey. This will allow the honey to slip easily out of the shot glass and into your shaker without a sticky mess to clean up.

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