Cinnamon, Thai, and lemon basils add fragrant overtones to this drink, but almost any basil works well, with the exception of red ones, which give a slightly duller color. After adding the orange juice, you can cover mixture and chill up to 1 day if desired.
1/2 cup rinsed, lightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup soda water
sprigs of fresh basil
How to Make It
In a 1-quart glass measure or bowl, combine basil leaves (see notes) and sugar. With a wooden spoon, crush leaves with the sugar until thoroughly bruised. Add orange juice and mix. Pour through a fine wire strainer into two ice-filled glasses (at least 10- to 12-oz. size). Add soda water to each glass and mix. Garnish coolers with rinsed sprigs of fresh basil.