Unless you live on the South Pole, you are probably talking about how hot it is right now. Guys, it is HOT out there. The heat index in DC today was 121 degrees. I was wearing a suit. And traveling to an offsite event around noon. WHAT WAS I THINKING. I literally starting melting. Literally. I couldn’t think of anything other than “I want to be in a tub of ice cubes right now SO BAD.”
I kept getting asked what my weekend plans are. I was going to volunteer with this group that is building a raised garden in my neighborhood, but it got postponed due to excessive heat. So, really, my plans are to move as little as possible, drink as many cold beverages as I can, and not get heat stroke.
If there is one thing that can make summers in DC bearable, it’s refreshing, ice-cold cocktails. So I’m going to put on a summery dress, crank up the AC, and sip one of these to celebrate the end of the week. I suggest you do the same. Unless you are under 21. Then don’t. Have a Coke instead.
There is also one good thing about excessive heat. Basil loves it. My basil is just having a party out there. So, in honor of that, this cocktail involves basil simple syrup. The original recipe just called for muddled basil, but I really liked the flavor I got from steeping the leaves in the simple syrup. The combination of grapefruit, gin, and basil is just really fantastic. It’s a very complex tasting cocktail, so your guests will be very impressed. And as a disclaimer, I’m not a huge gin fan, but the basil and the grapefruit make the gin flavor barely noticeable (which makes these a little dangerous…drink responsibly!)
So to start things off, let’s talk simple syrup. I just recently started getting into simple syrups, but they are so…well…simple! And making flavored syrups is so fun! Everyone will think you are super skillful when you mention you used homemade basil simple syrup. I know I was really impressed last year when one of my friends brought ginger simple syrup to a party I hosted.
Basil Simple Syrup
Makes 3/4 cup syrup
½ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
10-15 fresh basil leaves
Stir together sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to just the point of boiling, remove from heat and add basil leaves. Let leaves steep while syrup cools. Strain out basil before using.
Adapted from Cocktail Remedy
3/4 cup basil simple syrup
3 limes, quartered
2 1/4 cup gin
3/4 cup triple sec
2 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
3/4 cup club soda
Muddle the limes with the simple syrup in a large pitcher. Add gin, triple sec, grapefruit juice and ice. Stir well, and top with club soda. Remark that it is powerful hot outside, good sir. Lordy. Sip. Feel refreshed. Repeat.