Tag Archives: cocktails with basil

Tequila Pineapple Fizz

Pineapple and basil go well together in a tart and savoury flavour combo that cries out for cocktail experimentation. So I made this drink, which is like the love child of a mojito and a gin fizz, with basil instead of mint and tequila rather than gin. A squeeze of lime tones down the pineapple’s sweetness and a touch of agave syrup takes away the spirit’s bite. Lengthen it with soda water and you’ve got a pretty, refreshing summer sip. Enjoy!

What to do with all that fresh basil from the garden? Just add tequila, pineapple juice and a splash of soda.

What to do with all that fresh basil from the garden? Just add tequila, pineapple juice and a splash of soda.

Tequila Pineapple Fizz

  • 1.5 oz Espolon tequila
  • 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • Top soda water
  • Garnish: Basil sprig

Method: In the base of a cocktail shaker, muddle basil gently with tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice and agave nectar. Add ice and shake. Pour into a Collins glass, add ice then top with soda water (about 1 oz). Stir and garnish with a fresh basil sprig.

Advertisements

Drink of the Week: Ginger Gin Sour

Gin, lemons, ginger. What’s not to love? Here’s a drink that’s tart and smooth, with a sweet and spicy kick. I used some of the ginger syrup left over from early April’s Lawnmower cocktail; muddled it with basil, gin and lemon juice; tossed  in an egg white; and christened the delicious result a Ginger Gin Sour.

Basil and ginger together? Why yes, Thailand is on to something with that flavour combo.

This short cocktail will help you transition from the stiff sours of winter to the long, gin-lemony drinks of summer.

This short cocktail will help you transition from the stiff sours of winter to the long, lemony gin drinks of summer.

Ginger Gin Sour

  • 2 oz gin
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz ginger syrup*
  • 1 egg white
  • Basil sprig garnish

Method: In the base of a cocktail shaker, muddle basil gently with gin, lemon juice  and ginger syrup. Add egg white and dry shake. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled coupe or an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a basil sprig.

*Ginger syrup

  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh ginger, shredded

Method: Bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. Add the ginger and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain the ginger from the syrup. Store in a clean glass jar for up to one month in the refrigerator.

– Ginger syrup recipe by Wade Sirois, Crowbar

Drink of the Week: Lillet-Basil Cocktail

I love Lillet. It had been awhile since we’d had a bottle of this French aperitif  wine inside the house, so the other week when I was in the mood for a “menage a trois” (Lillet, gin and St. Germaine) I sexted texted my hubby to bring home a bottle. Now, we have most of a bottle left and are in need of Lillet recipes. Enter the Lillet-Basil Cocktail, a yummy little Martha Stewart number I found on Yummly.

It's all about the Lillet in this refreshing sip.

It’s all about the Lillet in this refreshing sip.

Honestly, I could drink Lillet on its own, but it seems heavy and sweet neat, so I looked for a recipe that uses oranges (we are out of lemons and limes!). Plus, the last of our basil was begging to be used up. The original Lillet-Basil recipe doesn’t call for simple syrup, but I felt it could use a touch of sweet so I added a half ounce. I also subbed in club soda for tonic; I cringed at the thought of adding bitter Schweppes to my sweet Lillet. The result is a fragrant and refreshing sip that plays up Lillet’s inherent charms.

Lillet-Basil Cocktail

  • 1/2 cup Lillet Blanc
  • 1 oz gin
  • 2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus sprig for garnish
  • Splash tonic water (I used club soda)
  • 1 cucumber spear for garnish

Into a cocktail shaker add the Lilt, gin, orange juice, simple syrup, basil leaves and ice. Shake well. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler, add soda water and garnish with the cucumber spear and basil sprig.

— Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart via Yummly

Drink of the Week: Basil Gin Smash

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.

This twist on a classic smash is an aromatic end-of-summer sipper. But good luck just sipping it.

This twist on a classic smash is an aromatic end-of-summer sipper. But good luck just sipping it.

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.

This dink is lovely with Victoria Gin.

This dink is lovely with Victoria Gin.

Drink of the Week: Live Basil Gimlet

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.

A garden fresh drink to celebrate spring (and to help forget about playground fundraising).

A garden fresh drink, with basil, to celebrate spring (and to help forget about playground fundraising).

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!

Tart and herbaceous, thanks to the gin and basil.

Tart and herbaceous, thanks to the gin and basil.

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.