Using strawberries, lemon verbena leaves, and sweet cicely seeds, this mocktail really is a taste of summer—grown-up, herbaceous, and with enough sweetness for you to indulge yourself. Adding a splash of bitters, which contain a small amount of alcohol, is optional.
5 ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
5 lemon verbena leaves
5 sweet cicely seeds
2 tsp (10ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grind of coarse black pepper
4oz (120ml) sparkling water
2 dashes of Citrus Bitters (see page
75) or orange bitters (optional)
Tools: Cocktail shaker with strainer,
muddler, barspoon/mixing rod
Garnish: Sweet cicely seeds and leaf,
lemon verbena leaf
Fill the serving glass with ice. Place the strawberries, lemon verbena leaves, and sweet cicely seeds in the bottom of the cocktail shaker and muddle thoroughly to release all the juices, essential oils, and flavors. Add the lemon juice and black pepper. Fill the shaker two thirds of the way up with ice. Seal and shake hard for 20 seconds to really muddle things up and cool things down. Strain the mocktail into the serving glass. Top up with sparkling water, add the bitters (if using), and stir to combine. Garnish with sweet cicely seeds, if you wish, a sweet cicely leaf, and a lemon verbena leaf.