This basil gin smash is EXACTLY what we need to take us into the brutally hot “spring to summer” transition that’s imminently upon us.
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I love summer. Seriously. But we barely got a spring this year, have had a few weeks of delightful 80s, and now it’s going to be 97 this week with a heat index around 120. TOO SOON.
So I’m trying to cling to some late-spring vibes, and couldn’t resist these stunning tulips when I saw them at the store…there’s such a narrow window for really good tulips, and these colors just make me HAPPY.
Other things making me happy right now?? This delish gin basil smash.
What is a smash cocktail?
Honestly, it’s a pretty loose definition. A smash is a subset of julep (which is also loosely alcohol, sugar, water, and shaved ice). So a smash falls along this line with (typically) a spirit, simple syrup, ice, and some kind of fruit…served in a shorter glass than the traditional julep.
It’s seasonally flexible, incorporating both fruit and herbs as needed, and sometimes people top it with seltzer to water it down a bit. It’s refreshing and perfect for summer.
This basil-lemon flavor combo is a total winner, and perfect for early summer when glossy fresh basil leaves abound.
So how do you make this delightful gin smash? Easy, literally just one minute. Muddle the basil leaves in your shaker. I use a cocktail muddler but if you don’t have one, the end of a wooden spoon handle can work well.
Add the remaining ingredients (minus garnish), fill the shaker halfway with ice, and shake until very chilled (at least 15 seconds). I recently switched shakers to this OXO one, and I absolutely love it…no spilling or leaking whatsoever!
Double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Double strain means use the cocktail’s built-in strainer if it has one, and then pour it through a small fine mesh strainer as well. This just gets all the little basil bits out, so if you don’t care about that then you don’t have to bother.
Garnish with basil leaves or lemon wheel and serve.
I loved how the drink looked in one of my new fun cocktail glasses from Crate & Barrel…I’ve been cherry-picking some beautiful new glassware and am in LOVE.
So what are you waiting for?? This gin basil smash is the perfect recipe to beat the heat this summer!
Other herbaceous (let’s face it, gin) cocktails you’ll love:
- Berry-Basil Smash (A Refreshing Gin Cocktail)
- The Verdant Lady (Gin & Green Chartreuse Cocktail)
- Basil Gin Gimlet Cocktail
- Fizzy Rosemary Gin Gimlet
- A French Gimlet Cocktail with Gin
From Punch magazine
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- 2 ounces of a good London Dry gin
- 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce of simple syrup
- Basil leaves (3-5 depending on size)
- Optional: Basil leaves or lemon wheel for garnish
- Muddle the basil leaves in your shaker.
- Add the remaining ingredients (minus garnish), fill the shaker halfway with ice, and shake until very chilled (at least 15 seconds).
- Double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Double strain means use the cocktail's built-in strainer if it has one, and then a small fine mesh strainer as well.
- Garnish with basil leaves or lemon wheel and serve.