There are drinks out there that are absolutely transporting – that help you press the pause button and slow down. This Cucumber Basil Agua Fresca cocktail is one such drink. As the weather heats up, we like to toast the season with drinks that are refreshing and beg to be sipped – cocktails that are low in alcohol but high in flavor.
Our drink of choice right now is this slightly adult twist on a classic Mexican agua fresca. When we travel to Mexico for our group trips, we always do taco crawls and we chase the spiciest of salsas, accompanied by delicious fruit drinks known as aguas frescas.
As you probably know, an agua fresca is a common drink in Mexico that’s made by blending together fruit, water, lime juice and a little sweetener. They’re the perfect way to quench your thirst on a hot day and work wonders to cut spicy flavors!
We always order cucumber agua fresca when we see it on menus because it’s uber-refreshing, which inspired this Low-ABV cocktail. This lightly proofed take is a less-sweet, more-modern version of cucumber agua fresca.
Made by juicing crisp cucumbers with fresh basil leaves, some lime juice and a touch of honey, the result is a drink that’s instantly refreshing. And thanks to the addition of a touch of elderflower liqueur, a few dashes of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters and a splash of sparkling water, this is a low-alcohol cocktail that’s super sophisticated.
The best part of all is that you can place this all in a pitcher in advance and serve it when your guests arrive, meaning it’s sure to become a go-to summertime drink.
Cucumber Basil Agua Fresca Cocktail Recipe
For The Cucumber Agua Fresca:
- 1 pound unpeeled Persian cucumbers ends trimmed, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems), plus more sprigs on the stem for garnish
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- Pinch coarse sea salt
For The Agua Fresca Cocktail:
- 1/3 cup elderflower liqueur
- 12 dashes ANGOSTURA orange bitters
- 1 bar spoon orange flower water (optional)
- 1 (750 ml) chilled sparkling water
- Ice cubes
- Make The Cucumber Agua Fresca: Combine the cucumber, basil, water, lime juice, honey and salt in the carafe of a blender. Place the top on the blender carafe, then blend until the mixture is smooth, at least 30 seconds.
- Strain the mixture twice through a fine mesh trainer, pushing on the mixture with a spatula to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and set mixture aside.
- Make A Pitcher Of Cocktails: In a pitcher, mix the cucumber agua fresca, elderflower liqueur, the orange flower water (if using), the ANGOSTURA orange bitters and 2 cups of ice.
- For One Cocktail: To serve one drink, fill a Tom Collins glass with 3 to 4 ice cubes, add in ½ cup of the cucumber basil agua fresca cocktail mixture and top with ½ cup of sparkling water. Stir to combine, garnish with a sprig basil leaves and some thinly-sliced cucumber and serve.