I can recall the first time I had a cocktail that broke the mental mold of what a cocktail could be. At a time when the extent of my cocktail knowledge didn’t go beyond the 3 or 4 drinks I overheard people order, there was a local restaurant and bar I’d go to where one bartender particularly enjoyed being creative and sharing new recipes. That was when I was introduced to the gin basil smash. This recipe can be found in Paul Clarke’s “The Cocktail Chronicles” which traces the origin of the drink to Jörg Meyer of Le Lion bar in Hamburg, Germany. The gin basil smash is basically a gin sour with a lot of fresh basil muddled in – enough to make it a vibrant green. It’s a perfect summer drink that offers complex flavors with the simplest of ingredients. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- 2 ounces gin
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh basil
- Muddle the basil leaves in a shaker.
- Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice to chill.
- Double strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a basil leaf.