We have a new restaurant (Hodson's) that opened recently near our house. A group of us moms went there for dinner after a fun evening shopping at the Blues Jean Bar. One of the items on their very unique drink menu was a basil martini. At first, I thought it strange to base a drink on basil, but I love basil, and wanted to try it. My expectations were met and exceeded with this absolutely yummy drink. I have been back to Hodson's twice (just so I could order another basil martini), and although all three martinis were different, they were all delicious.
So I set out to perfect my own recipe. I have to do something with all that basil growing in my herb garden!
I started last night by making my own simple syrup. This is a staple in many bar drinks, and you can even use it to sweeten tea, coffee, or any other kind of drink. It's good to use because the sugar is already dissolved, and you don't get grains of sugar hanging out at the bottom of your cold drink!
Simply stir 1c sugar into 1c water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. I let mine boil for about a minute or two. Let cool, transfer to a container, and refrigerate for up to one month. See why it's called simple syrup?
By the time I got home from work tonight, my simple syrup was chilled, my vodka was cold, and I was ready to try my hand at bartending.
Take a look at this.
Here is the recipe I came up with.
2 oz Van Gogh vodka (or any high quality vodka... we're not talking Smirnoff's or even Absolut here!)
2-3 basil leaves + a small sprig to float
2 t simple syrup
1-2 T freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Muddle 2-3 basil leaves in the vodka. Transfer to a shaker and add simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Float a basil sprig or leaf on top for garnish. Enjoy!
You will think you died and went to heaven when you taste this.
I'm going to go water my basil.