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Lemony Fresh Herb Coolers


The combination of fresh basil, cilantro, mint and tarragon makes an unusually refreshing drink.

2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups (packed) basil leaves and small sprigs

1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves and small sprigs

1 cup (packed) mint leaves and small sprigs

2 tablespoons tarragon leaves

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Cold club soda

Lemon twists and mint sprigs, for garnish

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 5 minutes; let the sugar syrup cool.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine the sugar syrup with the basil, cilantro, mint, tarragon, lemon zest and lemon juice and puree. Let stand for 1 hour, then strain through a coarse sieve, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

3. For each drink, pour 1/4 cup of the fresh herb syrup over cracked ice and fill with club soda. Garnish the drinks with a lemon twist and mint sprigs and serve.

MAKE AHEAD The herb syrup can be refrigerated overnight.

Makes 8 Drinks

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