At first glance, the Basil Cucumber Gimlet is not something that would have appealed to me. However, my sister brought some cucumber infused gin when she came to visit me for the weekend and she made this fantastic drink. She discovered it at Zinc earlier this year and has mastered making it at home. I knew right away this drink recipe was meant to be shared.
With the flavors and aroma of the cucumbers, basil and lemon, this drink is completely refreshing. This recipe is extremely flexible. Shake, taste, adjust and pour!
Basil Cucumber Gimlet
recipe from my sister, Jenny - inspired by The Cellar Bar at Zinc
3 large basil leaves
4-8 ounces cucumber infused Seagram's gin
2-4 ounces simple syrup*
4-8 ounces tonic water or club soda
Fill a drink shaker, or a quart size mason jar, with ice and add the basil leaves. Add the gin and about 2 ounces of syrup and shake well. Pour into two glasses and top with tonic water or club soda, to taste. I preferred mine with club soda, while the rest of my family preferred the tonic water. However you make them, the ratio is approximately half gin to half tonic water or club soda. I liked mine a bit sweeter, with an extra splash of simple syrup as well. Garnish with a basil leaf before serving. Enjoy!
To Infuse the Gin: About a week before you want to use it, thinly slice a European cucumber and place the slices into a bottle of Seagram's gin. An inexpensive bottle of gin, such as Seagram's, works well for an infusion like this one. For 750 mil of gin, use about half a cucumber. If you prefer to infuse just a small amount, place 8 ounces of gin in a glass jar and add 5-8 very thin slices of cucumber. Place the gin with the cucumber slices in the refrigerator or in the cupboard and let it rest for about a week to ten days.
To make simple syrup for mixed drinks: Combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white sugar in a jar and shake until the sugar is dissolved. This will keep in the refrigerator until you need it again. It will be thinner than traditional simple syrup and will mix smoothly into the drinks.
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