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Basil gives culinary cool to summertime cocktails

Basil adds a refreshing taste to cocktails.

By Emma Janzen


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AUSTIN, Texas — Muddling a few basil leaves into your afternoon tipple can elevate a summer cocktail from simply achieving its purpose of refreshment, to making your taste buds dance with delight.

Herbs have long had a place in the world of mixed libations, and for good reason. They impart a slightly sweet, slightly savory, vibrant flavor to cocktails that is difficult to mimic otherwise.

Basil in particular imparts a suggestive botanical quality that lightens the weight of spirits and deepens the sweetness of fruits and sugars. It also pairs well with just about any base spirit you choose, from gin and vodka to whiskey, sake and rum.

There are several ways to integrate basil into your glass. Muddling gently will express the herb’s organic flavor and disperse it throughout the drink. Making a homemade syrup will dull the brightness and impart a more subtle flavor. Or you can use it simply as a garnish, to effect the sight and scent of the first sip.

Many bars incorporate basil into their summer menus.

At Sagra bartender Mason Popp created the recipe for this Basil Ginger Martini.


One response

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! Great article!

    July 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

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