I love fresh-herb cocktails. There is a restaurant in town I've been known to visit simply for love of their sage margaritas. Last Saturday I was flipping through a stack of magazines at the boys' hockey practice, and nearly gasped when I happened on a recipe for basil gimlets. I tore it out at once. A few days later I made a batch, and Alexi couldn't believe his good fortune. The recipe is written for serving a crowd, but you can easily reduce the proportions and make it in smaller quantities.
Adapted from December InStyle Magazine. According to the article, Napa Valley chef Michael Chiarello is the original author of this cocktail.
Basil Gimlets for All
In a pitcher, with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash one large bunch of basil leaves with 8 oz. fresh lime juice and 4 oz simple syrup (4 oz. sugar dissolved in 4 oz. boiling water, then cooled) until fragrant. To this mixture, pour in 12 oz vodka and 4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Strain and pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a basil leaf. Serves 8.