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Cider Sips: Fresca Fraise

June: the days are lengthening, the temperatures are creeping into the 80s and 90s, and the strawberries are bursting with flavor and sweetness.  Make the most of their ephemeral deliciousness with this fresh and seasonally inspired cider cocktail:

Fresca Fraise


3 oz Strawberry Basil Syrup (or to taste)
1.5 oz Vodka
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Top with Red Hill or other dry cider; Arkansas Black and Old Virginia Winesap work well too, with their strawberry undertones.

How to make the Strawberry Basil Syrup:

Equal parts sugar and hot water brought to a boil.
Simmer with basil for 15 mins (15 large leaves for every cup of syrup, or more to taste)
Blend chopped strawberries in a blender (1/2 cup for every cup of syrup)
Strain the blended strawberries and add to the syrup (once it has chilled)
Optional: add a couple of blueberries or raspberries with the strawberries to darken the color of the syrup.

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