Not too too long ago (I mean, I am a bit tardy on this, but not, say, a year behind, or even three months, and if we didn’t have the interweb and the telephone and whatnots, and communication came via Pony Express, I’d be totally on time), pal Becca from the tasty Key Notes with Becca was talking up her newly planted basil in a post, and thinking about all the dishes she might make with it, and generally giving a big “yay!” at the thought of fresh basil. A sentiment I second. But (and you knew that “but” was heading your way), none of her ideas had anything to do with a basil drink. Which is a shame, cause she’s a boozehound. No, no, I kid. She’s not hitting the bottle at the break of day, but neither is opposed to a nice cocktail and, knowing this, I said we should try to come up with basil drinks. Which leads to Tareva’s Tipple.
A friendly mystical kind of a mix (when you remember that basil has had a few theoretical–as far as I know–mystic connotations in the past), Tareva’s Tipple is good for a summer’s evening when you’re sitting on the deck reading a few issues of your favorite comic (and yeah, you have one, even if you don’t admit it) with the pups frolicking around you. It probably shouldn’t be too hot, cause there’s some muddling during the making and you don’t want to sweat. And you probably shouldn’t be planning on driving to the drive-in after having three of these, because there’s a double-delicious-whammy of sorts, due to the combo of gin and grappa (balanced out in the grand scheme of things by the basil and a bit of simple syrup). I used Aviation gin cause its floral notes play well with the basil, and Soft Tail Reserve grappa because it’s got that get-up-and-get-at-it underlying umph as well as some plays-well-with-others flavorings. The end result might not actually be a potion, but might leave you spellbound (if I can wax magically for a moment). Fresh basil’s the key, naturally, and best if just plucked before using.
6 or 7 fresh basil leaves, plus one for garnish
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce grappa
1. Add all the basil leaves minus that last one and the simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler, muddle well.
2. Fill the shaker halfway full with ice cubes, and then add the gin and grappa. Shake well.
3. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the remaining basil leaf. Enjoy.
A Note: Wife Nat thought I used a bit too much grappa, when I was using 1 full ounce, so I scaled it back. But you can scale it up if you’re feeling frisky.
PS: If anyone can tell me right now without using the Googler who “Tareva” was, in decent detail, then I will buy you a drink that can cost up to $15. So, a fancy-pants drink.
PPS: If anyone can tell me after using the Googler who “Tareva” was, I still might buy you a drink, but not if you’ve consulted this guy, who would obviously know. And yeah, that’s a serious hint.