I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days, so I've been playing around with some n/a versions of the Rickey (I'm using that term liberally, as they all have club soda, but lack the gin or bourbon in a "real" Rickey.) Using any of a number of syrups infused with fresh herbs, and other simple ingredients, renders some refreshing takes that are perfect anytime you want something tasty but unleaded.
For all of the infused syrups, take 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar and put them into a small saucepan. Let it come to a boil, and then boil until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and add a good handful of the herbs of choice. Let steep for 15 minutes, or to taste. Remove the herbs, let the syrup cool completely, and then place into a container with a tightly fitting lid. The syrups will keep for a week or so in the fridge.
Here are some combos to try:
* Rosemary syrup, lemon bitters and/or squeezed lemon wedge, club soda.
* Basil syrup, muddled strawberries, club soda
* Basil syrup, tomato water (fresh or strained tomato juice), club soda, freshly cracked pepper.
* Lavender syrup, grapefruit juice and/or grapefruit bitters, club soda
* Thai Basil syrup, coconut water or juice (not coconut milk), lime juice, club soda
* Sage syrup, muddled blackberries, lemon juice, club soda