Trampoline Frappé Recipe
By Al Sotack
The frappé is a style of drink (and sometimes desert) that has a parallel history in bar and soda fountain culture. Whether you’re talking about an absinthe frappé or a booze-free pineapple frappé, the shared factor is a mountain of fresh fine ice. In the early 20th century, when commercial refrigeration was still newish, this was still very much a novelty, but one that ties the culture back to older mixed drinks like the cobbler and the mint julep. The 1905 soda fountain book The Dispenser's Formulary defines the frappé as a combination of syrup and fine ice that winds up with the consistency of "moist snow." It's a style that lives on in drinks like today's Frappuccino, perhaps an update to the Formulary's own Cafe Frappé.
My first version of the Trampoline was a gin-based drink that I had on the menu during my time at Death & Co. in New York about a decade ago—you can find it in their latest cocktail book, Welcome Home. But that drink was really a revamping of an older drink, the Well-Deserved Punch (served in my earliest days at The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia), which was made with rum and the same fresh strawberry-basil syrup that's used here. If you have extra syrup on hand after making this frappé, I recommend giving that punch a try: Combine 1 oz. Jamaican overproof rum, 1 oz. Haitian rum, 1 oz. fresh pineapple juice, 1 oz. lime juice, ¾ oz. strawberry-basil syrup, ¼ oz. crème de cacao (such as Tempus Fugit brand), and two dashes Peychaud's bitters into a shaker. Shake with ice until well chilled, then pour into an ice-filled glass with an ounce of seltzer.
The strawberry-basil syrup remains one of my favorites to have on hand. It's a crowd-pleaser, relatively stable, and the green hint of basil just sits so wonderfully with the fragrance of strawberries. Turning it into an all-ages frappé was a no-brainer for me, and this is now one of my favorite summer coolers. Note that the bitters do contain some alcohol; feel free to omit if you’d like to keep this completely booze-free.
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Blend 2 cups strawberries, leaves removed, halved, and 1 cup water in a blender on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and reducing heat to low if mixture bubbles, about 7 minutes. (Rinse out and reserve blender.)
Add 10 basil leaves to saucepan and continue to cook, stirring, about 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and let sit 15 minutes.
Strain strawberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids with a spoon—you should get 1½–2 cups. Return to blender along with an equal measure 1½–2 cups sugar. Blend until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute—mixture should not taste gritty. Transfer to a resealable container and chill until ready to use.
Do ahead: Syrup can be made 3 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.
Fill a large frappé or pilsner glass with crushed, cracked, or pebble ice. Combine 3 oz. fresh pineapple juice, 1 oz. fresh lime juice, 1¼ oz. Strawberry-Basil syrup, and 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters (if using) in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake until just mixed, about 5 seconds.
Strain into prepared glass and add 2 oz. chilled seltzer. Top off with crushed, cracked, or pebble ice. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with a strawberry half and basil leaf (if using). You can dash bitters on these too!
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This is so refreshing! Pretty much ultimate summer.
6/5/20232 cups strawberries, leaves removed, halved 10 basil leaves 1½–2 cups sugar Do ahead: 3 oz. fresh pineapple juice 1 oz. fresh lime juice 1¼ oz. Strawberry-Basil syrup 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters 2 oz. chilled seltzer strawberry half basil leaf Sign In Subscribe