Perfect as a refreshing summer drink, the Gin Basil Smash is a relatively new cocktail, an infant in the world of mixology. Created in July 2008 by Joerg Meyer, owner and bartender of Le Lion Bar de Paris in Hamburg the Gin Basil Smash is his signature cocktail and was originally called Gin Pesto.
It has even won an award: Best New Cocktail at The Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in July 2008.
With, dare I say it, summer on the horizon and dreaming of warmer sunfilled days I decided to make this super easy cocktail.
Tip ~ Don’t use your best, most expensive gin. Traditionally Hendrick’s gin is used for this cocktail but the flavour of the basil does dominate, so any good quality gin will do.
It is easy as to make:~
Shaker, muddler, jigger, strainer, lemon squeezer.
10~12 fresh basil leaves + extra for garnish
50ml London Dry gin
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup
Muddle the basil leaves with the lemon juice in the shaker. Give them a real bashing.
Add the rest of the ingredients and some ice to the shaker.
Fill a glass with ice.
Strain the smash into the ice-filled glass through a strainer to catch the green bits (a tea strainer will do).
Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Gin Cilantro Smash
The Basil Smash lends itself to lots of variations. A bit of a fan of coriander (I regularly use the leaves in salads) I thought I would try substituting cilantro leaves (coriander) for the basil. Not as pretty a vivid green as the Gin Basil Smash the result was nevertheless rather delicious with a fresh greenness and slight spiciness.
By the way, don’t omit the lime. It really is necessary to bring out the flavour of the cilantro/coriander.
A handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves
50ml London Dry Gin
20ml freshly squeezed Silician blood orange juice
5ml freshly squeezed lime juice
15ml sugar syrup
Same as before.