Lillet Blanc really should be showcased more often as it here. This drink has been on the menu at PX in Alexandria for a long time; it is a perfect, light springtime cocktail. It calls for more simple syrup than usual, but do not worry. It works.
For the gin, go for a traditional London dry such as Tanqueray or Beefeater. Be sure to double strain the mixture so the crushed basil pieces don't end up in the drink.
- 11 basil leaves
- 3 ounces Lillet Blanc
- 1/2 ounce gin (see headnote)
- 1 ounce simple syrup (see headnote and NOTE)
Place 10 of the basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Gently muddle the leaves, then fill halfway with ice.
Add the Lillet Blanc, gin and simple syrup; shake well. Double strain (through the shaker strainer and through a fine-mesh strainer) into a chilled coupe or large cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with the remaining basil leaf.
NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container and let cool to room temperature.
Adapted from Todd Thrasher of Restaurant Eve, PX and the Majestic in Alexandria.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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