The heat is on to complete the fundraising for the new playground at my daughter’s school, which means I’ve returned to my one constant companion through the madness: gin. Our playground committee communed over G&Ts this week, but I kicked it up a notch last night with this tangy, savoury number, a Live Basil Gimlet.
I came across the recipe on NYTimes.com after Googling “cocktails with basil, lime and gin.” Traditional gimlets call for sweetened lime juice (e.g. Rose’s Lime = yuck) and a copious amount of gin. In contrast, this lovely recipe shakes a more modest bit of gin with fresh lime juice, muddled basil and simple syrup. I decided to use honey syrup, with great success. It’s a softer, more natural-tasting syrup, that works well with the other ingredients, like the deliciously fresh basil we are growing in our little herb container this year (pictured above).
The Live Basil Gimlet would be a nice drink to headline the 5th annual Inglewood Kitchen Party fundraiser, taking place June 8th at the Inglewood Community Hall to raise money for the aforementioned playground, given that the theme is patio lanterns. Unfortunately, the signature cocktail I made for last year’s party got everyone hammered, so we’re sticking to beer (so people will remember to spend money to support the playground). But do try one of these at home!
Live Basil Gimlet
- 5 large basil leaves, including one for garnish
- 1-1/2 oz gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz honey syrup (in a mason jar, combine equal parts honey and hot water; screw on lid and shake until honey is completely dissolved and then cool)
Gently muddle four basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the gin, lime juice and honey syrup. Fill with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the remaining basil leaf and a lime wheel, if desired.