This month's challenge is hosted by Stacy Markow at the Stacy Markow blog. Her challenge this month is the Smash...
Bring it on.
I recently received a bunch of Thai Basil blossoms from River Creek Farm and was asked to make them into something fabulous and boozy. I already have a deep rooted love of pairing basil with my gin. [Mmmm. My mouth starts to water a little just thinking about it.] Thai Basil, a variety of sweet basil, has the same anise notes as Genovese Basil, but it also carries a little spice and can withstand higher cooking temperatures than other types of sweet basil when used in the kitchen.
I have a slight obsession with Smooth Ambler's Barrel Aged Gin. It has all the delightful qualities of my beloved gin, but satiates my desire for whiskey with a hint of oak and spice. Where does barrel aged gin come from? Ship a barrel of London Dry gin from the motherland to the British colony in India and let it slosh around in a barrel at sea for 3 months. Voila! Barrel Aged Gin.
I figured I needed a potent gin to stand up to the strong anise notes in the Thai Basil. I added a little cucumber into the mix to offer a crisp, refreshing note, similar to the component citrus adds to many cocktails.
Next up was one of my new toys that I picked up at Tales of the Cocktail from Bitter Queens, a new bitters company based out of San Francisco. All of their bitters are named after strong female types. Check out their lineup. Bitter Queens NorCal Nancy Eucalyptus Bitters features eucalyptus, bay leaf, white sage, quassia, oak and other spices. It added just the right herbaceous balance to this cocktail.
|Thai Basil (with blossoms), Smooth Ambler Barrel Aged Gin,|
Bitter Queens NorCal Nancy Eucalyptus Bitters
The Sylvan Smash
1.5 oz Smooth Ambler Barrel Aged Gin
6 ds Bitter Queens Eucalyptus Bitters
.25 oz simple syrup (1:1)
2 slices cucumber
4 leaves Thai Basil
Muddle basil, cucumber, bitters
and simple syrup. Add gin.
Shake & double strain over crushed ice
into an old fashioned glass.
Garnish with Thai Basil blossom.
Drink. Enjoy. Chill out.
|The Sylvan Smash, Laura Cloer, TMSPC, 2014|
Many, many thanks to Fred for keeping this going and to Stacy for hosting this month. More on Tales of the Cocktail and other fun stuff coming up this next month!