AHP May Cocktails | Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

Wow, it’s May already? This year is flying by! A new month means it’s time to share the next monthly installment in our AHP Cocktail Series! I know we just shared April’s recipes last week, but we wanted to make sure to share this month before Cinco de Mayo! We have great selections if you’re hosting a party. If you missed our first recipe, or want a refresher of why we do this in the first place, make sure you check out March’s Cocktail Recipes. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter! Our subscribers always get email reminders when these posts go live, and I always try to include a little something extra just for you.

Because Happy Hour is such a big part of our own lives, we want to share the love (hey, there’s a reason they call it happy!). Over the years, we’ve nurtured and developed our palettes. We’ve discovered which spirits we really love, how to mix them, and in some cases, come up with drinks that are completely our own.

AHP May Cocktails | Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

So, once a month, for the rest of this year, we’re going to share two cocktail recipes with you. One will be a drink that I’ve chosen, and one will be Ed’s selection. Along with sharing the recipes, we will tell you why we love them, and how we make them our own. Whether or not you make them yourself, we hope that you will at least start adopting the theory of Happy Hour. Once a day, Monday through Friday, give yourself permission to turn worries off. This is our form of self-care, and we hope it helps you too!

And, of course, if you do make these, we’d love to see! Post your versions on Instagram and share using the hashtag #ahpcocktails.

May Cocktail Recipes - Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

This month, Ed and I are sharing some favorite Cinco de Mayo cocktail favorites! You can’t celebrate this Mexican holiday without a classic margarita! So Ed is sharing his favorite recipe. If you prefer to go against the norm, we’re also sharing what we call a Strawberry Basil Cooler. Both drinks would make a tasty – and beautiful – compliment to tacos!

One thing to note when trying to recreate these drinks: Ed and I don’t usually measure. We prefer to eyeball it, then add in what we think it needs. Feel free to start with actual measurements, but don’t be afraid to tweak them to fit your own tastes!

AHP May Cocktails: Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

Amy’s Strawberry Basil Cooler Cocktail Recipe

As you guys know, I don’t like super sweet drinks. But I do love herbs in my cocktails! This recipe stars one of my favorite herbs – basil. It provides the herbal flavor that I love, and compliments the tartness of the strawberries perfectly. When mixed with a little crushed ice, this drink is such a great summer cocktail! My favorite way to drink this one? Poolside!

The recipe calls for muddled strawberries and basil. You can use just about anything to crush the ingredients, but I use a heavy-duty mortar and pestle that was given to me by my dad. It’s special not just because my dad gave it to me, but because he swiped it from his Biology lab before he retired. I used the very same ones when I took his classes in college!

Now, I don’t suggest that you spend this much on a mortar and pestle (nor do I suggest stealing one from your local college lab!), but I do think it’s a great tool to have on hand, both for cocktails and cooking. There are lots of great ones on Amazon, and this one is especially beautiful. But if you don’t have one on hand, these ingredients are easy to crush with a bowl and the back of a spoon.

AHP May Cocktails: Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

Strawberry Basil Cooler

Prep Time5 mins
Servings: 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 1-2 strawberries, sliced
  • 2-3 basil leaves
  • 1 squeeze lime juice, fresh
  • dash simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
  • club soda, chilled

Instructions

  • In a short glass, gently muddle 2-3 basil leaves with strawberries and a squeeze of lime (Gently! Don't bruise the basil). 
  • Add a dash or two of simple syrup (to taste).
  • Fill with crushed  ice.
  • Pour in gin or vodka (I use gin!). Stir and top with club soda. Add more simple syrup if you want a sweeter drink.
  • Garnish with more basil and strawberries. Enjoy!

Notes

Tip: Make your own simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water on the stovetop. When it cools, you have homemade simple syrup!

AHP May Cocktails: Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

Ed’s Classic Margarita Recipe

While we usually prefer to get a Jumbo Frozen Lime Margarita at our favorite Mexican restaurant (more about this in our newsletter!), sometimes you need a classic recipe to make at home. Or you need a few pitcherfuls for a Cinco de Mayo party. We’ve got you covered!

Margaritas come in all sorts of flavors these days, but Ed and I prefer a classic lime. However, if you want to add some fruit to this, it would still be amazing! Start with this recipe as a base, then make it your own.

Don’t skip the salted rim! Not only is it super fancy, the little taste of salt as you sip goes perfectly with the tequila. We used a lime wedge to gently dampen the rim of these fun cactus margarita glasses (thank you, Helen!), then dipped into a paper plate sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt. Delicious and gorgeous!

AHP May Cocktails: Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

Classic Lime Margarita

Servings: 1 drink

Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon orange liqueur (we use Triple Sec)
  • 1 tablespoon pink Himalayan salt

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, Simple Syrup and orange liqueur. Cover and shake until mixed and chilled, about 30 seconds. 
  • Place salt on a plate. Use a lime wedge to slightly dampen the rim of the glass, then press the rim of a glass into the salt.
  • Strain margarita into the glass. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe is easy to make in a pitcher. Multiply all ingredients except ice by 4-5, then add to a pitcher. Stir to combine. Pour over glasses filled with ice.
Tip: Make your own simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water on the stovetop. When it cools, you have homemade simple syrup! Add different flavors by adding a sprig of rosemary, mint, or other herb, or even citrus rind to the water while it heats.

AHP May Cocktails: Strawberry Basil Cooler + Margarita

Ed and I hope that these recipes will inspire your own at-home Happy Hour! Remember, it’s not the drinks that are important. Is the hour set aside to rest and unwind.

Don’t forget to tag your own concoctions with #ahpcocktails! We can’t wait to have you join us!

CHEERS!

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Get the AHP March Cocktail Recipes here

Get the AHP April Cocktail Recipes here

Get the AHP May Cocktail Recipes here

Get the AHP June Cocktail Recipes here

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