An alternative to the classic gin and tonic, this is a deliciously sophisticated drink with aromatic notes of basil and rosemary. The cucumber gives the drink a clean, green freshness, which makes it the perfect aperitif

Serves 1

You will need:

  • Highball glass
  • Muddler


For the rosemary syrup (makes 400ml):

  • 200g sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary

For the cooler:

  • A handful of fresh basil
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 40ml elderflower cordial
  • A dash of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Sparkling water
  • A sprig of basil and long baton of cucumber to garnish


To make the simple herb syrup:

  1. Put the sugar and water in a pan on a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to simmer, add the rosemary and then continue to simmer for a further 5-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the syrup into a sterilised bottle.

To make the cooler:

  1. Muddle the basil, cucumber and the wedges of lime in a highball glass. Add the elderflower cordial, 20ml rosemary syrup and dash of lime juice.
  2. Half fill the glass with crushed ice, then top up with sparkling water. Stir everything together and garnish with a sprig of basil and a long baton of cucumber.

Recipe extracted from Dry: Non-alcoholic Cocktails, Cordials and Clever Concoctions, by Clare Liardet (Bantham Press, RRP £9.99)