Strawberry-basil gin fizz 1.0 and 2.0
I’d give myself solid grades for my beer and wine knowledge, but I’m definitely failing cocktails. I can never remember liqueurs and what they taste like, no matter how many times I’ve looked them up. Here’s just a few of my stumpers:
- Aperol, a less alcoholic version of Campari, which I can’t remember either;
- caraway- or dill-spiced aquavit;
- anise-flavored pastis;
- fernet, a strong-flavored Italian herbal liqueur;
- yellow chartreuse, a mild French herbal liqueur, and green chartreuse, a stronger French herbal liqueur colored from chlorophyll;
- sweet and dry vermouth, aromatized and fortified wines used in martinis and Manhattans.
I suppose the day all these liqueurs are familiar to me will be the day of reckoning when I realize I’ve squandered too much of my money and liver on vice.
Perhaps the only liquor I could identify blindfolded is gin. Gin is the sequoia of liquor’s landscape; you can recognize it anywhere for its distinctly piney aroma of juniper berries. I’m no gin expert — I haven’t had an 80-martini lunch (and don’t even suggest to them that martinis should be made with vodka) — but I have worked my way through a bottle of Hendrick’s and recently uncorked a bottle of Washington-made Dry Fly gin.
I’ve also been picking strawberries.
And that sparked this (update: broken GIF, too lazy to fix):
I’ll warn you that this first drink was a bit rough around the edges. The strawberry pulp and chopped basil made for a country-style drink, one that had clearly come from a plaid kitchen and not a mustachioed bartender.
So the next day, I tried to gin up the drink (and me!). Turns out that making individual drinks in a shaker makes for a much classier beverage, perfect for an urban porch with a peg for the fedora. Pick your punch; I’ve included both variations below.
Strawberry-basil gin fizz 1.0
The recipe below makes two rustic drinks that would be pretty easy to double, triple or quadruple for a crew without any extra work.
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries (about 8-9 berries)
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 5-6 basil leaves
- 4 oz / 1/2 cup gin
- 2 oz / 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
- club soda to taste
1. Blend the strawberries and sugar in a food processor until as liquefied as possible. Add the basil leaves and pulse until well combined.
2. Split the strawberry puree, gin and lime juice between two glasses, preferably chilled. Add ice (I used three cubes) and top with club soda. Garnish with basil or a lime wedge.
Strawberry-basil gin fizz 2.0
Ahh, you’ve chosen the classier route — very nice. The recipe below is for individual servings.
- 1/4 cup fresh strawberries (about 4-5 berries)
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 3 basil leaves
- 2 oz / 1/4 cup gin
- 1 oz / 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- club soda to taste
1. Muddle the strawberries, basil and sugar in a shaker.
2. Add the gin, lime juice and ice. Shake vigorously, at least 20 seconds, and strain into a glass with fresh ice cubes. Top with club soda. Bonus points if you rub the rim of the glass with a basil leaf. Garnish with basil or a lime wedge.