I am not usually one to try mixed drink options when I go out. This is mostly because I know they’re over-loaded with sugar! My typical drink of choice when I go out is vodka water, vodka club soda or white wine, so when I was out at a bar in Portland, basil berry bliss cocktails were a total reach for me. Something about basil in cocktails always catches my eye, and the ingredient list sounded refreshing!
Even though the drink was delicious, it definitely earned a sugar-laden badge. The original ingredients were raspberry vodka (any flavored vodka has sugar in it already), sprite (sugar), strawberry syrup (sugar), basil and lime. I figured a healthier version of this delicious cocktail would be simple enough to re-make at home. And I was 100% right! As usual.
I don’t really ever drink regular soda. When I do crave soda, which isn’t often, I typically reach for a Diet Dr. Pepper. I know and am well aware that artificial sweeteners are no bueno, but once in a while it just sounds so darn good. On these one-off days, we’ll typically go down to 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp because it’s cheaper than buying anything bottled. But the last few times I have bought soda to have in the house, I’ve gotten the naturally sweetened versions. While these do still have some regular sugar in them, it’s less than half of what they add to the normal versions. This also makes it less than half the calories of a regular soda! Since cutting down all the sugar makes soda less sweet, they supplement by adding stevia, a natural sugar alternative that is healthier. So far I’ve purchased 7-Up and Dr. Pepper in the naturally sweetened versions, and I approve!
Of course, there are other healthy soda alternatives you could try. Zevia is a brand I have seen a lot about, but I have never tried it. I’ve looked for it a couple times but not been able to track it down! Zevia is made with natural ingredients, including stevia and sugar alcohols for sweetness.
Any way you go about it, this cocktail is pretty simple to make, but you do need to use a blender to prepare the ingredients. I’ll be featuring this drink for the next girls-night-in I host!
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 sprig fresh basil
- naturally sweetened 7-up (or lemon-lime twist Zevia)
- Add raspberries, fresh basil leaves and a splash of soda to a blender. Blend one minute or less until all berries are broken down and completely mixed.
- Add ice to a glass, and scoop in 1-2 tablespoons of the basil berry blend.
- Add 1 oz. vodka. Fill the glass to the top with 7-up.
- Garnish with a lime and enjoy!