Basil has always been a star in the culinary world, however, today it has gained notoriety in the bar scene as well. With its fresh and subtly sweet taste, basil adds an earthiness that enhances bitter and sweet drinks alike. Beyond its aromatic flavor, basil has been said to have health benefits such as reduce inflammation, swelling, and, even anti-aging properties, as if there wasn’t reason enough to enjoy a drink.
Lavender & Basil Punch
Makes 10 servings
6 springs fresh basil, divided
8 oz London dry gin
8 oz sparkling white wine
8 oz freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice, strained from pulp
4 oz lavender infused Grand Marnier
6 red grapefruit wheels (garnish)
Directions: In a punch bowl, place leaves from 4 sprigs basil. Pour gin, sparkling wine, red grapefruit juice and lavender infused Grand Marnier over basil and stir. Add ice and stir again to chill. Garnish with remaining basil sprigs and red grapefruit wheels.
Makes 1 serving
2 oz coconut run
2 oz fresh pienapple juice
4 leaves fresh basil
1 oz honey
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Directions: In shaker, combine coconut run, pineapple juice, basil, honey, lime juice and lemon juice. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain into cocktail glasses.
Recipes adapted from Frankie Solarik’s “The Bar Chef”