By admin | February 24, 2012

Photo: Michael Korcuska

Looking for just the right stiff drink to serve up on a Friday night? Something that feels a little classier than the regular beer or Jack and Coke but will still have you swearing like a sailor after just a few? Well, we’ve got just the thing! Today we look at a retro cocktail, the Gimlet, with a little modern herbal twist- the Basil Gimlet.

There are several stories to how the Gimlet, made from gin and lime juice, came about. The most popular however is that the drink was named after British Royal Navy Surgeon General Sir Thomas D. Gimlette, who allegedly introduced this drink as a means of inducing his crew to take lime juice as an anti-scurvy medication. For centuries limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits have been used in the Navy to prevent scurvy, and what better way to get your dose of Vitamin C than will the punch of gin to it?

In this recipe, the cool lime complements the peppery basil for a Gimlet like no other. So whip up a batch of Basil Gimlets this weekend and after just a couple, you might just feel like a sailor too.

Basil Gimlet Recipe

Makes 2 cocktails

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 large bunch basil, coarsely chopped
6 ounces gin
4 tablespoons lime juice
Basil sprigs, for garnish (optional)


  1. Make basil syrup by combining sugar, 3/4 cup water, and basil in a small saucepan and bringing to a simmer until sugar dissolves.
  2. Let basil steep in syrup 20 to 30 minutes, then strain (you’ll have enough syrup for 4 drinks).
  3. Fill shaker with ice and pour in 3 ounces of gin, 4 tablespoons of basil syrup, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Shake, strain, and serve in a martini glass garnished with basil sprigs.

Photo: mkorcuska

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