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The Garden Party

Whip up a Garden Party Cocktail for a refreshing, colorful beverage that will please a crowd! It’s easily made nonalcoholic and has a ginger sugar rim. Single glass and punch options are included.

pitcher of strawberry basil garden party coctails

Today’s recipe was designed to highlight one of my favorite activities of the spring and summer season – dining outdoors. This cocktail is designed for a crowd (it serves 4-6), but is easily scaled back for a single person recipe.

I wanted to highlight Lillet Blanc, a favorite summer apertif. However, I know that many of my readers prefer nonalcoholic “mocktails,” so the recipe below includes a just-as-good variation that is completely alcohol-free.

What is Lillet Blanc?

Lillet Blanc is a French white wine that is infused with fruits, herbs, and other botanical ingredients. It was invented in 1887 and originally flavored with quinine. The current version is lower in quinine. It is not vermouth because it does not contain wormwood (but does contain liqueur).

What does Lillet Blanc taste like?

Lillet Blanc has a lightly sweet taste that is floral and fruity. For this reason, it’s a perfect addition to spring and summer cocktails.

What is a good substitute for Lillet Blanc?

Any sweet white vermouth will work in its place.

side view of a strawberry basil garden party cocktail

Ingredients for Garden Party Cocktails

  • Orange juice, for subtle sweetness
  • Fresh basil, for an herbaceous edge
  • Angostura bitters, for more notes of citrus
  • Fresh ginger, for spice
  • Strawberries, for bright flavor and color
  • Lillet Blanc or ginger beer
  • Sparkling water or Prosecco

Possible Swap and Substitutions

While this recipe is written for a pitcher of 4-6, it’s easily scaled down to a single drink! For a single cocktail variation, combine 2 TBS orange juice, 3 leaves basil, 1 dash bitters, 1 strawberry, 1 oz Lillet/ginger beer in a shaker. Middle to combine, strain into a glass, and top with ~1 cup sparkling water.

To make this recipe completely free of alcohol, skip the angostura bitters, substitute ginger beer or soda for the Lillet, and use only sparkling water instead of any Prosecco.

Any kind of berry will work in place of the strawberries.

a plate of ginger sugar to rim a cocktail glass

Love strawberries? Be sure to check out this round up of my favorite vegan strawberry recipes!

More Bright Spring Drink Recipes

Rhubarb Shrub

Blood Orange Screwdriver

Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas

Carrot Bloody Mary

Strawberry Limeade

Extra-Ginger Moscow Mule

Lavender Haze (Aviation) Cocktail

Print
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pitcher of strawberry basil garden party coctails

The Garden Party (Cocktail/Mocktail)


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Whip up a Garden Party Cocktail for a refreshing, colorful beverage to that will please a crowd! It’s easily made nonalcoholic and has a ginger sugar rim. Single glass and punch options are included. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For cocktail pitcher base (see notes for single option):

  • Juice from one orange (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 sprig of basil
  • 6 dashes angostura bitters (optional for nonalcoholic version)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) Lillet Blanc (ginger beer for nonalcoholic version)
  • Lemon slices, strawberries, and more basil to garnish
  • 46 cups chilled sparkling water (or chilled Prosecco for a stronger cocktail)

For ginger sugar:

  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar, or Turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a shaker, combine orange juice, basil, bitters (if using), fresh ginger, strawberries, and Lillet (or ginger beer). Use a muddler or spoon to press the ingredients down so the fruit juices release.
  2. Add some lemon slices, more pieces of strawberry, and a few sprigs of basil to a medium pitcher. Strain contents of shaker into the pitcher and top with cold sparkling water or chilled Prosecco just before serving.
  3. If desired, add sugar and ginger to a shallow bowl, stirring to combine. Rim the edges of four couple glasses with a lemon wedge and then swirl upside-down in the sugar, coating the rims in the ginger sugar mixture. Alternatively, coat just one side in the ginger sugar (like a margarita).

Notes

For a single cocktail variation, combine 2 TBS orange juice, 3 leaves basil, 1 dash bitters, 1 strawberry, 1 oz Lillet/ginger beer in a shaker. Middle to combine, strain into a glass, and top with ~1 cup sparkling water.

Be sure to add sparkling water/Prosecco just before serving, as the bubbles will fade after some time.

Nutrition information for Lillet Blac and sparkling water variation.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirring
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One fourth of recipe
  • Calories: 59.3 calories
  • Sugar: 6.4 grams
  • Sodium: 0.2 milligrams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: cocktail, mocktail

Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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