I love trying out new recipes for cocktails that feature fresh-from-the-garden produce. Most involve herbs because of their intense flavors and aromas, so I couldn't resist this recipe for the Roquette from mixologist Matthew Biancaniello at the Library Bar in Hollywood. The drink is a take on the gimlet that features arugula, which is called roquette in French. Citrusy and sweet with a natural bright green hue, this is a drink that will wow your guests and have them asking you to mix up another!
The weekend is here, and you're wondering what to do with your last remaining basil plant from your summer garden. Enter the Basil Julep. Although mint is normally the herb of choice for this drink, basil provides a surprisingly savory and delicious alternative. You'll be the hit of next year's Kentucky Derby by serving these!
Recipe (serves 4)
1 bunch of fresh basil, a few leaves reserved
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water
8 oz bourbon
First, make a basil simple syrup. Mix the water, sugar, and bunch of basil in a small pot and bring to a light boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cool - I usually just put the pot in the freezer and find it ready to mix within an hour.
In a glass, muddle 2 tbsp of the basil simple syrup with a few basil leaves. Top off the glass with crushed ice. Add 2 oz of bourbon, and stir well. Serve and enjoy!