Lemon Basil Spritzer

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  If abstaining from the occasional cocktail has caused you to feel deprived, this should cheer you up. It’s refreshing, tasty and seems to have a similar flavor profile to a very light alcoholic beverage. Not overly sweet, the basil and lemon combine to deliver a beverage that seems remarkably “grown-up.”

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4-5 strips of lemon peel, yellow part only, removed from a fresh organic lemon with a vegetable peeler
1 lemon wedge, about 1 ½ -2 teaspoons juice
2-3 large fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon (more if you like it sweeter) powdered xylitol

Process some xylitol to a powder by grinding in a food processor, blender, or coffee mill. (Xylitol comes in a very crystalline form that does not dissolve easily without heat. It’s nice to have some ready in a powdered form for use in cold beverages and dishes that don’t require cooking.)
 

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In the bottom of a tall glass, place the basil leaves, lemon peel and powdered xylitol.

Squeeze the lemon wedge into the glass and mash or “muddle” the mixture with the handle of a wooden spoon to release all the aromatic oils into the mixture.

Fill the glass with ice, add chilled sparkling mineral water and stir. Cheers!

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