strawberry basil lemonade sparkler

The summer menu at Metronome has a strawberry basil lemonade sparkler, and so far I've tried ordering it twice.  The first time they'd run out of champagne.  The second time, lemonade.  So I decided to try my hand at making one for myself at home.  Summer is winding down, but it can still get hot outside and this is a refreshing late summer drink.  I think this drink is so delicious and man does it go down easy.  They're not too stiff, since there's no liquor in them, so you can have a few before getting too silly.

I love a drink that has a cool gradient. I think this might originate from when I used to see my parents drinking Mai Tai's in Hawai'i when I was a kid.  I always thought the gradient of the brown on top and the orange on bottom was so cool.  So much so that one time I wanted to be cool like the grown ups, so I made a drink that looked like a Mai Tai by using orange juice and coke.  Needless to say, it tasted kind of gross, but I'm pretty sure I drank the whole thing just because.  

For the strawberry-basil syrup:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup tightly packed basil leaves

1. Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.

2. Add the strawberries, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the strawberries have softened, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat, add the basil leaves, and stir to incorporate. Cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl; discard the solids. Cover the syrup and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the sparkler: 
2 oz syrup
1.5 oz lemon juice
4-5 oz champagne/sparkling wine

Fill a collins glass with ice cubes, add the syrup, then the lemon juice, and then slowly add the sparkling wine so it doesn't bubble over.  You can also make this drink in a wine glass sans ice, if you prefer!  I like to serve the drink with the gradient intact, just because it looks cool, but it tastes best mixed up.  Garnish with a strawberry, or a lemon wedge, or a basil leaf... or go crazy and garnish with all of them.  It's your party, you can garnish if you want to.