Today’s warm-weather beverage is a great summer cocktail recipe, especially if you love a lemon-herb combination this time of year. Lemon and basil go great together in this grown-up version of lemonade, and it’s one of my all-time favorite cocktails.
To make the gimlet, first you will need to learn how to make a herb-infused simple syrup. I like to make up a large batch, and use it over a few weeks (or when we’re entertaining). You can modify the infused syrup recipe for nearly any type of herb or leaf, though I am not sure how many herbs you might actually enjoy drinking? I suppose that’s up to you, haha. But let me share it with you – like the name, it truly is simple! It’s just an extra step you’ll have to take ahead of time to prepare your drink.
- 4-6 leaves of sweet basil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- Wash leaves well, and add all ingredients to a small saucepan.
- Heat on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves, leaves wilt, and mixture turns clear.
- Remove from heat and cool syrup. Allow the leaves to steep during this time - at least 30 minutes.
- Remove leaves and discard, and store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- You may multiply this recipe as necessary; this quantity will make approximately 6 oz. of syrup (enough for 6 drinks).
Once you’ve made your syrup, the rest is easy to shake up. Here’s the drink recipe.
- 1.5 oz citrus vodka
- 1 oz. basil simple syrup
- 2 oz. lemon juice
- 2 basil leaves, plus lemon wedge(s) for garnish
- Muddle 2 basil leaves in a rocks glass, and add ice.
- Add vodka, syrup, and juice to a shaker with a couple ice cubes, and shake until chilled.
- Strain into glass, and garnish with a lemon wedge.
This is really a great recipe for impressing guests, because it’s light and crisp rather than being a really sweet cocktail. For anyone who wants the virgin version, substituting club soda or even water gives you a fresh twist on summertime lemonade.