The Margarita is an essential summer cocktail, right up there with the Mojito, Mint Julep and Daiquiri. Its iconic balance of sweet and tart and boozy make for an intoxicating drink for those warm summer afternoons in the sun. And while its pure form—that of tequila, lime, triple sec and sugar—is pretty much untouchable, it lends itself well to playful variations, twists, and additions.
One extremely popular variation on the Margarita is the Strawberry Basil Margarita, when the drink is enhanced with the spicy-sweet vegetal notes of basil and the fruitiness of strawberries. This bright pink libation is a signature drink of beach time fun and garden parties, especially when made properly (mainly by not using a cloying, artificial mixer in place of real fruit and fresh herbs). However, it can be punched up even more with another summertime staple: rosé. In particular, sparkling rosé.
One immediate concern that can be put to rest is that adding sparkling rosé will make the drink sweet. And sure, if you opt for some bottom shelf supermarket bottle of pink bubbly, you will run that risk. But sparkling rosé from all over—including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, North and South America and even Australia and New Zealand—can absolutely be as bone-dry as any wine can.
Of course, it doesn’t need to be strawberries, though they are some of the easiest to work with, and pair beautifully with the basil. Raspberries are an obvious substitution and can bring even more tartness and vivid color. Blueberries make for a fun, darker drink and still work well with sparkling rosé. Even tropical fruits like star fruit and mango will work well provided they are in season. Just be sure to taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly, remembering that while you can always add sugar (in this case, in the form of agave syrup), it’s much trickier to take it out.
With the serving bowl, there’s no need to get too fancy, especially if you’re planning on taking this somewhere like, say, a beach or friend’s barbecue. With a sparkling rosé-topped berry margarita, it’s doubtful anyone will even notice its vessel. However, to take things up a bit there is an optional rim of rose salt.
Click Play to See This Sparkling Rosé Margarita Come Together
- 10 ounces strawberry-basil-infused blanco tequila*
- 5 ounces lime juice
- 4 ounces agave syrup
- 1 bottle sparkling rosé (750 milliliter)
- Garnish: sliced strawberries
- Garnish: lime wheels
- Garnish: rose salt**
In a punch bowl, combine the tequila, lime juice and agave syrup.
Add cubed ice, and stir with a ladle to mix.
Top with the sparkling rosé.
Garnish with 1 cup sliced strawberries and lime wheels from 2 limes.
Rim punch glasses with rose salt before serving (optional).
*Strawberry-basil-infused blanco tequila: In a glass jar, combine 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves with 1 750 milliliter bottle blanco tequila. Seal jar tightly and let sit, unrefrigerated, for 3 to 5 days. Shake daily. Strain out solids, and rebottle the infused tequila.
** Rose salt: Add 4 tablespoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon dried rose buds to a mortar and pestle, and gently grind. Place on a small plate for rimming.