Obviously, this cocktail is more seasonally suited for the summer. But I bought some basil to make a pasta dish and had some leftover, and was inspired to find a basil cocktail this week. This recipe is from Martha Stewart and is an incredibly refreshing and light cocktail that is perfect for a brunch drink. It was great on a rainy March afternoon and will be even better this summer. Lillet is a French aperitif wine that is a blend of french white wine and macerated citrus liqueurs (mostly from orange peels). Sounds delish, right? It is. This was my first experience with Lillet and I definitely will be drinking more of it just over ice. It blended very well with the green taste of the basil. Martha recommends garnishing this with both a cucumber spear and a cinnamon stick. I just went with the cinnamon stick, and to be honest it seemed to be more decorative than anything else. The recipe for this yummy cocktail after the jump.
Lillet Basil Cocktail (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 cup ice plus more for serving
1/2 cup lillet
1 ounce gin
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup basil leaves, packed, plus more for garnish
splash of soda water
Cinnamon stick and cucumber spear for garnish
Directions: Combine everything but the soda water and garnishes in a cocktail shaker. Press down the basil leaves with a spoon to release the flavor. Shake vigorously and pour into a glass with a handful of ice. Top off with the soda water and add garnishes. Sip leisurely and enjoy.