The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, and I celebrate every year by hosting a party complete with homebrewed shandy and fresh summer cocktails. Because my garden is usually overflowing by this time of the year, I like to take advantage of that by creating cocktails packed with fresh herbs. This year, I’ll be serving my adaptation of the Basil Smash.
The Basil Smash was originally created by Jörg Meyer of Le Lion — Bar de Paris in Hamburg, Germany. According to Jörg, he loved the whiskey smashes he drank in New York so much that he came back to Germany to create what would go on to win “Best New Cocktail” at the 2008 Cocktails Spirits Awards. The Basil Smash is refreshing, aromatic, and – perhaps the best part – it’s amazingly simple to make. This cocktail is the perfect addition to your 4th of July festivities.
- 2 oz Bluecoat American Dry Gin
- 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio)
- 4–5 sweet basil leaves
- Splash of club soda
- Garnish with a basil leaf
Pick 4–5 basil leaves. Place in your hand and clap your hands together to wake up the basil. Place into cocktail shaker. Add the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice to your shaker. Shake well. Double strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with splash of club soda. Garnish with a basil leaf.