Basil heaven, otherwise known as a Basil-Gin Smash

So next time you go to the farmer’s market or to your garden, if you are so lucky, grab some extra basil.  Taking a page from the whiskey sours I posted last time, we are going to do something similar but with gin and with the addition of fresh basil leaves.  This is a great indian summer drink and a wonderful way to use up some of that fresh basil you have hanging around.

If you have a favorite gin, then, by all means use it.  I have happened upon Boodles, which is relatively cheap and works for me.  I occasionally buy more expensive gins when I want to experiment and feel a little flush.

As this drink, like the whiskey sour uses simple syrup, I’m going to use this blog as an excuse to talk a little more about simple syrup.  So simple syrups are 1 part white sugar to 1 part water.  You throw them both in a sauce pan and heat to a boil, stirring occasionally.  And then remove from the heat and let cool.  You are basically just dissolving the sugar in the water.  I keep mine in a sterilized, (read: went through the dishwasher) recycled glass peanut butter jar in the refrigerator.  I have found it will last well over a month that way.  If it is clear and smells fine, it is fine.  There are plenty of variations on simple syrups including “rich” simple syrups and flavored/infused simple syrups which I can’t wait to talk to you about soon.

So along with the gin and simple syrup, the other ingredients for our drink today are fresh lemon juice and 5-6 basil leaves per drink.

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Basil-Gin Smash

(recipe kindly shared by the Esquire Tavern of San Antonio)

Partially fill a shaker or clean jar with ice.  Add:

5-6 whole basil leaves*

2 ounces of gin

3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice

3/4 ounce of simple syrup (see recipe here)

Put lid or top on shaker and shake ingredients hard for 20-30 seconds.  Strain into a chilled coupe/martini/wine glass.

The drink will have a beautiful basil-green hue to it.  Add a garnish of a fresh basil leaf.

* Note that you are not muddling the basil a la a Mojito, it will ruin the drink to do that, let the ice smashing up against the leaves pull the flavor from the basil for you.  

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