Our hostess serves her lightly spiked Basil-Gin Lemonade(already mixed, of course!) while guests are trickling in.
Makes: 8 servings
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups gin, such as Bombay Sapphire
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons), plus 1 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise
- 3/4 cup triple sec
- 1 orange, thinly sliced crosswise
- Reserve a handful of the basil leaves plus 8 small sprigs to use as garnish. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water, the sugar and the remaining basil to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes; let cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold. Strain into a clean container, pressing down on the basil to extract any liquids; discard the basil.
- In a pitcher, combine the basil syrup, gin, lemon juice and triple sec. Stir in the basil leaves and lemon and orange slices. Serve in tall glasses over ice, topped with a sprig of basil.
- For a nonalcoholic version, swap the liquor for an additional 1 1/2 cups lemon juice and 6 cups cold water.