Courtesy Steen Bojsen-Møller, beverage director, Birba Palm Springs, California
When basil starts to sprout in gardens and sunny window boxes, make this refreshing, bubbly drink. Inspired by the popular Aperol Spritz, Steen Bojsen-Møller, beverage director at Birba Palm Springs in California, sought to create a less-sweet variation with an herbaceous flavor.
An added bonus: “It comes out a beautiful bright green color, which also makes you feel like you’re drinking something healthy.”
- 1 ½ ounces vodka
- 1 ounce basil syrup (recipe and directions below)
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 3 ounces sparkling wine
- Dash of soda water
- Basil leaf, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with basil leaf.
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (no stems)
- 1 cup sugar
In small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil. Add basil leaves, and allow to steep for 15 seconds.
Transfer basil to bowl of ice water for 1 minute, then dry on paper towel.
Stir sugar into basil water until dissolved, and remove from heat. Return basil to simple syrup.
Pour syrup into blender (or use a hand-held immersion blender), and blend on high for 30 seconds. Strain through a nut bag or fine cheesecloth. Refrigerated, it will keep up to 2 weeks.