Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day signature cocktail: Basil Gimlet Tonic

Beth gave me some swanky gin and even swankier tonic water for my birthday, so it was about time I busted it out. I'm going classic here with the weekend's Signature Cocktail. I'm also satiating the part of me that can't see all that bolted basil in my garden go to waste. Once the basil shoots up flowers (bolts), the leaves get a bitter flavor that just isn't good enough for pesto or caprese. But even though it's September, I can't bare to cut down the basil plants; those bees need a place to frolic!

I decided that using the late-summer basil leaves to infuse a simple syrup was a perfectly good function for them, and, truly, the syrup did not taste bitter at all.


The basil gimlet!

First: The Basil-Infused Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 bunches of basil leaves (a large handful), finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup of water
Heat on stovetop or in microwave until the sugar is dissolved (about 3 minutes in microwave). Steep the leaves for at least 30 minutes, then strain.

The cocktail: 
  • 2 parts Gin
  • 2 parts simple syrup
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 1 part tonic water
The classic gimlet doesn't have tonic water, but I like to add a dash to make the drink last. It also gives it a little kick of carbonation that keeps summer alive for me. I used an old-fashioned glass, but some sticklers would tell you a highball is preferred. Your choice!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend! I've decided not to work too hard. I hope you don't have to either. See you at the pool.

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