Oh, my. Summer cocktails. Perhaps the best part of summer? Except for the warm weather and the swimming and the not getting grumpy children up and out the door while making sure no one forgot their homework or their lunch or their jacket. Hallelujah to all of it. I’m so ready.
But the cocktails, though? Right around 5 o’clock when you’re ready to chill out and you’re sitting on the deck and maybe someone’s grilling a little something…sublime. Sub. Lime.
We have this great basil plant. Or it started out as a great basil plant and gave us this lovely, tasty basil for several weeks and just as I was about to post this I killed it dead. It’s tragic and heartbreaking and I’m absolutely going out to replace it with another basil that is hopefully a little hardier than this one. Because while I love flowers and veggies and growing things, my flora and fauna cannot be of delicate constitution and survive around here. We’ve got four kids and two dogs, and anything beyond that has to meet me halfway.
So since we love our mint simple syrup, we decided to try a basil simple syrup recipe. It’s not an overwhelming basil taste, just a hint. Basil undertones, if you will.
I’m working on cocktails to use it in, but for now I suggest filling an old fashioned glass (or lowball glass — same thing) with ice. Add a shot of bourbon, a good splash of the basil syrup, and fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale. So good — refreshing without being too sweet or too bitter.
Here’s to summer!
- 1 c water
- 1 c sugar
- 1 c basil, torn into small pieces
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan.
- Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and water looks clear.
- Add basil leaves and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour mixture through a sieve or tea strainer, pressing the basil leaves to remove most of the moisture.
- Allow syrup to cool and store in an airtight container. The syrup can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
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Had a wonderful mandarin basil margarita at the Santa Monica pier, this would be perfect!