Monday, August 30, 2010
Show Me Your Teeth!
In my mad rush to take advantage of any and all remaining seasonal produce, I grabbed a giant bushel of basil from my local farmers' market and a few ears of corn (just cuz) though I had no idea what I was going to do with any of it. Sadly the basil had wilted from being out in the heat all day, but I managed to revive it! All you have to do is get a sturdy glass or similar vessel (I used a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup), fill it with an inch or two of cold water, place the bouquet of basil into it, stems first, cover it loosely with a plastic bag, and stick it in your fridge for an hour or so. It totally came back to life and was ready to be sacrificed for a vat of pesto!
Since I still had quite a bit of basil left, I decided to make a basil infused simple syrup so that I could make a refreshing end of summer drink that would be great for sipping on while watching Mad Men or for your end of summer Labor Day bbq. If you wanted to serve this over the rocks instead, you could skip the simple syrup and basically make it like you would a Mojito, muddling some sugar with lemons and basil, then topping it off with some vodka and ice before serving. Actually, I think I'm totally going to try that. I wonder if you would get more of the basil flavor and fragrance making it that way than you do from this simple syrup...Well, at least with my recipe you won't have to worry about errant leaves getting stuck in your teeth. Not cute.
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce basil simple syrup (see recipe below)
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
4 - 5 dashes of Lemon Bitters
Basil leaves for garnish
1. Pour the vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake briskly and then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with basil.
Basil Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1. Stir together the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Pour the liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into an airtight container, discarding the basil. Cover and chill. The syrup may be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 month.