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).
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.