A bag of lemons and a container of basil make lovely bedfellows when they find themselves in the drink with a bottle of Victoria Gin. The resulting love child is called a basil gin smash.
Traditionally, a smash is a short cocktail with a base spirit, sugar, perhaps a touch of lemon or lime, ice and mint. Sometimes a liqueur is used in place of sugar syrup, or a grapefruit gets juiced rather than a lemon. But there is always mint. Unless, of course, you use basil. I prefer basil with gin as it plays nicely with the spirit’s botanicals and I sometimes find mint too overpowering.
Once in the glass the drink performs as a smash ought to; as in, you’ll become what you’re drinking after a couple (ahem, smashed) because they are so good you will chugalug instead of just sipping. Oops.
Basil Gin Smash
- 5 fresh basil leaves, plus sprig for garnish
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 oz gin (I used Victoria Gin)
Add basil leaves, simple syrup and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Gently muddle until the basil is fragrant. Add gin and some ice cubes and shake. Strain into an ice-filled lowball glass and garnish with the basil sprig.