The unique blend of grapefruit and basil works together to create a perfectly refreshing cocktail.
I’m always looking for unique and creatives cocktails. When I heard of using basil in drinks, my first thought was, “I’ll pass, thanks.” But the idea grew on me. I figured I would give it a try…The basil simple syrup is amazing. I love it! And pairing it with grapefruit makes for a perfect combination.
What makes cocktails fun to make, for me at least, are the tools. One year for Christmas, I got my husband a bartender’s set of cocktail tools. He still questions if that gift was really for him…Hey, he gets to reap the reward of great cocktails, so either way, he is a winner! Not only are the tools fun to use, they also make it easier to put together amazing cocktails. If you don’t have these tools, you can improvise and still produce delicious cocktails.
I’ll go over a few of the tools l like to use and ways to improvise if you don’t have them. But, if you do like cocktails, a bartending set makes for a great gift.
Jigger: Vital for precise measuring. Usually, it has a cone shape on each end, like the one above. Mine measures an ounce on one end and 1/2 ounce on the other. When making cocktails, the ounce measurement is used often, so having a jigger makes measuring accurately extremely easy.
- If you don’t have a jigger, 1 fluid ounce equals 2 tablespoons.
Shaker: A typical shaker consists of three parts; a cap, a top with a built-in strainer, and the cup base. You add all the drink ingredients, add ice and shake. You then take the cap off, and the built-in strainer strains out leaves and ice.
- If you don’t have a shaker, any tall bottle with a lid will work. Just add your ingredients, shake and pour. Be sure to strain out any leaves.
Muddler: Used for crushing fruit or leaves (mint or basil typically). To use the muddler, gently press down on the leaves or fruit and give a half-turn of the muddler. Lift and continue this motion until the ingredients are sufficiently muddled. This will generally take about four to six turns.
- In place of a muddle you could use the end of wooden spoon, or other blunt object, and use in the same way you would use a muddler.
For this Recipe:
Gin or white rum work well. You could also use vodka. What ever alcohol you use, make sure it’s clear and neutral in flavor.
You need to make the simple syrup ahead of time to give it enough time to chill. To make, add 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the torn basil leaves and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and chill for 2 to 3 hours. If you need to chill the simple syrup quicker, put it in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes or until chilled. You are then ready to make a refreshing grapefruit and basil cocktail.
Grapefruit and Basil Cocktail
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 3 ounces grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1½ ounces basil simple syrup
- 1½ ounces gin or white rum
- 2-3 fresh basil leaves
Basil Simple Syrup: (Make ahead of time)
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil.
- Tear basil leaves a few times, add them to the sugar mixture, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely; strain the simple syrup before bottling. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 3 hours.
- Add 2 to 3 basil leaves to a cocktail shaker, and using a muddler, crush the leaves.
- Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add the grapefruit juice, basil simple syrup, and alcohol. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass filled with crushed ice or ice cubes. Garnish with grapefruit (optional).