So you may remember from my post about the Bee’s Knees that gin is not usually my go-to sprit of choice. However on a warm, humid night a gin drink can be incredibly refreshing, and the perfect antidote for a long day.
Cameron loves gin, so much so that one of his favorite drinks is a gin and lime (yes, it really is what it sounds like), and so it is definitely a staple of our bar cart. I am always on the lookout for new gin cocktails that we can both enjoy, and was doing just this when I happened to stumble upon one that called for a basil simple syrup. The rest of the cocktail was quite complex, and I definitely was not up for getting ingredients I probably wouldn’t use otherwise, so I decided to get creative and make something new.
The resulting drink is closest to a Tom Collins, which has gin, lemon juice, some simple syrup, and some club soda. Really though, a ‘Collins’ can describe any drink with a citrus, spirit, and club soda, which makes them super fun in the summer months because you can get really creative with the ingredients.
This version calls for basil simple syrup, which is super easy. Simple syrup is made by combining sugar and water in a 1:1 ratio and heating over a low flame until the sugar dissolves. To make a basil version simply add 1/4-1/2c of fresh basil leaves (mine were from my herb garden), and heat until the leaves have wilted and the syrup is the desired strength. I recommend adding slightly more water in this application, as the syrup can veer into too-sweet territory pretty easily. Chill until you’re ready to use; it should last about a week in the fridge in an airtight container.
• 3oz gin
• 1-1.5 oz basil simple syrup
• Squeeze of lemon (or lime)
• Blue Sky seltzer to taste
1. Pour gin, lemon, and simple syrup into a class with ice. Stir gently
2. Top with seltzer to taste
3. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf or citrus wheel