Gin Basil Smash

Gin Basil Smash Cocktail with a sprig of basil for garnish

Gently muddle the basil leaves with the lemon juice and, if possible, leave to stand for ten minutes. Add the other ingredients, shake with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

According to Difford's Guide the Gin Basil Smash was created by Jörg Meyer in the summer of 2008 at Le Lion Bar de Paris in Hamburg, Germany. It was originally called the Gin Pesto. Jörg recommends, "Better too much basil than not enough." We would agree having not used enough on one occasion. It really does need ten basil leaves, even if they are big basil leaves.

The drink is a stunning bright green color from the basil but the basil also comes through as a herbal aftertaste following the bite of the citrus. Muddling the basil first produces a more deeply colored drink but it is the shaking that releases the flavor by ripping the leaves to shreds. Be sure to use a fine strainer to keep those shreds out of the final drink.