The addition of copious amounts of fresh basil means that the Gin Basil Smash is virtually a vegetable and certainly a delightful way to get one of your ‘five-a-day’.
We have mover and shaker of mixology Joerg Meyer to thank for inventing the ingenious modern classic cocktail, the Gin Basil Smash, at Le Lion Bar de Paris in Hamburg.
Having won “Best New Cocktail Bar” at the 2008 Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, love for some of Joerg’s creations, including this bright green herbaceous drink, soon spread throughout Germany and the rest of the world.
Famous enough to have it’s own Facebook page, the Gin Basil Smash is a mastery of simplicity. The magic lies in the perfect balance between tart and sweet and herbal and floral, dancing on the palate like a fresh summer breeze.
Basil smash granita
50 ml Hope Mediterranean Gin
20 basil leaves (green or purple)
25 ml lemon juice (half a lemon)
20 ml sugar syrup
Ice, for shaking
Finely crushed ice, to serve
Sprig of basil, to garnish
Add the squeezed out half a lemon together with the lemon juice, basil leaves and sugar syrup to a shaker and muddle until crushed. Add the gin, fill with ice and shake well for at least 10 seconds. Strain into a mixing glass filled with finely crushed ice, stir through and spoon into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a sprig of basil.
Thanks to our friends at Hope on Hopkins for sharing this cocktail classic and adding their own special granita twist. Don’t miss their Martini Masterclasses at their artisanal distillery in Cape Town where you spend the evening shaking, stirring and sipping whilst assimilating the secrets and history behind several martinis.
Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald