For the simple syrup: Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool complete and then strain though a mesh sieve.
For the mocktail: Place 1/2 cup of simple syrup, strawberries, and basil in a shaker and use a muddler to crush the strawberries and basil. Top with ice and shake vigorourly.
To plate: Combine sugar and black pepper in a wide dish. Wet the rim of the desired glass and coat in sugar/pepper mixture. Fill glass with ice and strain muddled strawberry mixture 3/4 of the way up the glass. Finish with 1/4 cup of seltzer water and garnish with basil leaves and/or strawberries.
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