I guess it’s fair to say I’m on a bit of a bourbon kick (the children are out of school all summer, after all). My drink this week is a Pink Panther. It kind of sprang off the page and begged me to drink it when I was perusing the cocktail list at the new National Beer Hall on 17th Ave. S.W. in Calgary.
Sexier than the Strawberry Lemonade (also made with bourbon), the Pink Panther features watermelon puree (yum) and housemade basil syrup (double yum). It’s strong but not overpowering, and the watermelon (which pairs so nicely with basil) almost tricks you into thinking you’re guzzling a healthy libation. It’s definitely the kind of cocktail you want to shake up when the kids are squabbling on a sticky summer afternoon.
- 2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
- 1 oz basil syrup*
- 5 oz watermelon puree (just add watermelon to a blender and hit “puree”)
- Top club soda
- Basil leaf garnish (optional)
Build the drink over ice in a 500 mL mason jar (or 16 oz pint glass) adding the bourbon, basil syrup and watermelon puree, screw the lid on and shake, then add more ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a basil leaf.
*To make basil syrup, combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Let stand for 30 minutes, then pour liquid through a strainer into an airtight storage container (discard basil) and chill before using.
–Recipe courtesy Stephen Phipps, cocktail co-creator for National Beer Hall