Strawberry Balsamic Basil Soda

1 c. chopped fresh strawberries

1 Tbsp. Strawberry Balsamic (or to taste; amount varies depending on how sweet or tart the strawberries are and how much vinegar you prefer)
2 c. club soda or sparkling water or sparkling wine

Ingredients for Basil Simple Syrup:
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. fresh basil, finely minced

To make the basil syrup, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring frequently for about a minute, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then add minced basil. Place in a jar or other airtight container and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is preferred).

In a large pitcher, mix chopped strawberries, balsamic vinegar, club soda, and chilled basil syrup to taste (can strain basil syrup to remove the steeped and wilted basil if desired). Serve over crushed ice with fresh basil leaves as garnish.

Alternately, use a blender or food processor to blend chopped strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar into a puree. Then add basil syrup to taste, club soda and ice and blend well before pouring into glasses for a slushy texture.

To be enjoyed on a hot summer day.

Created by: Chef Francois Larouche
*Served at Customer Appreciation Days 2015

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