My Favorite Strawberry Cocktail: The Royal Highball

The first pints of strawberries have appeared at farmers’ markets in New York. That can only mean one thing: summer has finally arrived. There’s no better way to celebrate the season’s arrival than with my favorite strawberry cocktail, the Royal Highball.

Starring strawberry juice and Champagne, with a touch of Cognac, this drink is a seasonal star for brunches or afternoon cocktails on the patio. Or sipped poolside. Or made in a pitcher for a picnic…really, for any summer sipping occasion. If you want to make a lower-cost drink for a crowd, just substitute brandy for the Cognac, and Spanish Cava for the Champagne (don’t use Prosecco, which has fewer bubbles than Cava or Champagne).

Befitting its name, the Royal Highball also has a fun — and naughty — royal history, as documented in my book, Storied Sips, and in this post: “The Story Behind the Royal Highball Cocktail.”

Recipe: The Royal Highball

  • 1 ounce strawberry juice
  • 1 ounce Cognac
  • 6 ounces chilled Champagne

Glass: highball or Champagne flute

To make strawberry juice: Wash and hull 1 pint ripe strawberries. Place strawberries into a blender or food processor with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (add a few spoonfuls of water if needed for smoother blending). Strain juice into a clean measuring glass.

To make cocktail: Pour 1 ounce strawberry juice into ice-filled highball glass (or a chilled Champagne flute for a dressed-up version; if using a flute, omit ice), then add Cognac and Champagne; stir gently.