I love getting a message like this:
“…you’re my go-to drink guru. Criteria: gin/vodka, herbal, smooth, only slightly sweet. thoughts?”
This came as a hearsay request from my friend Dani through my friend Allison, so I started thinking about what I had on hand at home and could whip up on the fly.
Because my container garden is bursting with mint and basil (and thyme, and oregano, and marjoram), I immediately decided those would be my herbal notes. Vodka: check. Slightly sweet? Honey. Smooth? How about lime and soda to cut the booziness?
There isn’t much to the prep. Throw basil and mint – just the leaves – into a shaker (I used about three sprigs each) and muddle with a tablespoon (or more) of honey and the juice of one big lime (or two smaller limes, if they are drier). Fill the shaker with ice, then top up with vodka (or gin) to the level you think is appropriate (more on Fridays, less on Mondays). Shake until it looks like this (all frosty):
Then, strain into cocktail glasses for an “up” version, or into ice-filled highballs that you top with club soda, like this:
Variations on herbs, booze, sweeteners, and the citrus are heartily encouraged! On the first crisp fall day, I am think grapefruit and rosemary!
I know the name isn’t all that clever, but with the autumn weather nigh, my thoughts often wander back to my college days. I was no BMOC, but I probably would’ve really appreciated this cocktail as an alternative to the swill I drank in blissful ignorance.
Anyway, Happy Friday early (I’m off tomorrow!) – enjoy this delicious libation while the summer lingers a bit longer!