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Basil cocktails for summer

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Basil is originally native to India, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years, but was thoroughly familiar to Theophrastus[ and Dioscorides.

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Basil is a half-hardy annual plant, best known as a culinary herb notably featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a key role in Southeast Asian cuisines.

Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell.

The round, and often pointed leaves of the basil plant looks a lot like peppermint to which it is a distant cousin. Basil has highly fragrant leaves are used as a seasoning herb for a variety of foods but has become ever popular as the main ingredient in pesto, the mixture of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Basil boasts benefits as being anti-inflammatory, as well as, benefits for cardiovascular health.

Below are four cocktails to make your taste buds jump, while not a typical ingredient for cocktails you will find the basil adds depth to your drinks.

Basil Lime Cooler

Ingredients for the Basil Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 basil leaves

Ingredients for the Cocktail:

  • 1-ounce basil syrup
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 2 to 3 ounces seltzer

Garnish: basil sprig

For the Basil Syrup:

Combine water, sugar, and basil leaves in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat until boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Basil syrup will keep for one week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

For the Cocktail:

Combine 1 ounce basil syrup, lime juice, and vodka in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Fill a collins glass with ice, then strain the cocktail into the glass. Add extra basil leaves to the glass, top with seltzer and stir gently. Garnish with straw and basil sprig.

Basil Mojito

  • 2 oz Light Rum
  • ½ oz Simple Syrup
  • Soda
  • Lime
  • 4 Basil sprigs

Muddle lime and basil leaves, shake with rum & simple syrup, and strain into ice-filled collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with a basil leaf.

Strawberry Basil Margarita

  • 4 Strawberries
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • 1 ½ oz White Tequila
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 4 piece(s) Basil

Muddle strawberries in mixing tins. Add all ingredients into glass and stir.

Basil Gimlet

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • ¾ oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Simple Syrup

Shake vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup with ice. Strain and serve up in rocks glass. Garnish with basil leaf.

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