The Washington Post

Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil 1.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Spirits Apr 21, 2010

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.

Servings: 1
  • 11 basil leaves
  • Ice
  • 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.

Recipe Source

Adapted from Todd Thrasher of Restaurant Eve, PX and the Majestic in Alexandria.

Tested by Michael Taylor.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 170

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 19g 6%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 17g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle