Refreshing Summer Cocktail with Basil

Recently, I got together with friends in NYC at Ardesia, a wine bar in Hell's Kitchen. Along with having a GREAT time (there's something magical about getting together with old friends), I also had a great drink they called, the "Wobbly Vespa." It was so refreshing and used BASIL! I thought immediately that I would have to try to recreate it at home once my basil started growing more. Well, that day has come, and I present to you, the perfect summer drink.

I assume it's called the "Wobbly Vespa" because it contains all Italian alcoholic ingredients (and Italian Basil), which might lead a Vespa to become wobbly should someone drink too many of these. I suggest just sticking with the drink and leave the Vespa at home. I decided to go all "EU" on the drink and introduce Cava instead of Prosecco. They are very similar, but Cava is Spanish, not Italian like Prosecco is. I love Prosecco, but I happen to like this Cava because it is a little drier than some of the Proseccos I've had recently. Because the Limoncello is so sweet, I thought it would be a good balance.

First, let me say that Ardesia make this FAR better than I do. They really create a beautifully layered drink - the Limoncello is separate from the Prosecco, which is separate from the Red Wine. When I make it, it doesn't look that pretty....but it sure as heck is tasty. 

This isn't really a "recipe" in the sense that it gives you directions on specific amounts of ingredients to add, but you can watch the video below to see how I made it. Experiment a little and enjoy. Happy Summer! 



Prosecco (or Cava)
Red Wine
Fresh Basil


(Add small amounts of each ingredient.)

  1. Add Ice to a large wine glass or tumbler.
  2. Pour in Limoncello.
  3. Pour in Prosecco.
  4. Pour in Red Wine.
  5. Pour in a splash of Prosecco.
  6. Garnish with a basil leaf.

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine