Happy Independence Day, everyone! We hope this unique American holiday finds you well and in good spirits! We’ve got a special post for you all today!
In years past, we introduced you to the Basil Mojito. To put it simply, it’s one of the best tasting garden based mixed drinks we’ve ever come up with. Refreshing, herbal and basically what I would call “summer in a glass.” This drink was the point where we decided we were going to be what could only be called, umm, an “adult oriented gardening outlet.”
The real reason we talk about it is because it’s a wonderful way to use up that basil that needs to be continually topped to promote further growth. Basil grows so quickly and many gardeners struggle with ways to use it, at least once they’ve exhausted their pesto recipes. Having a way to regularly use those cuttings in a way that helps you relax a bit and enjoy the fruits of your garden is the pinnacle of what we’re all about here.
Well, we’ve played with the Basil Mojito enough over the years that we’ve 100% perfected it. We’ve made enough variations now that we can tell you what we think is the absolute best version. And that is the Thai Basil Mojito. And because we’re awesome, sharing people…we’re gonna just give away the winning recipe! So, here’s how it rolls:
Add 10-16 Thai basil leaves to a pint glass (aka the Alaskan highball), then muddle them with 1-2 tsp of regular or sugar free simple syrup. Crush 1/4 lime into the glass, then toss the squeezed flesh into the glass. Top your Alaskan highball with ice. Add 1-2oz Hawaiian Dark Rum, depending on whether you want a single/double. (The rum is really important here, seek out the good stuff!) Fill the remainder of the glass with diet or regular tonic water. Garnish with Thai basil stems, or for a late season kick, Thai Basil flowers. Mix and enjoy responsibly!
As for substitutions that won’t change the character too much? For a non-alcohol version, we’d recommend substituting equal proportions of Lyre’s Dark Cane Spirit for the rum. You can absolutely sub any Genovese style basil, or even other basil varieties, but Thai basil specifically takes this drink to the moon and back. If you don’t have simple syrup, you can sub about 1/8tsp of sugar with 1-2tsp of water. You can also use club soda instead of tonic water in a pinch, but tonic water is much better in our opinion. Also, BTW, regular tonic water has a ton of sugar (more than soda!) and the diet version tastes the same.
The reason basil works so well in this drink, over the traditional mint version, is because mint and basil are in the exact same family. It’s a unique “gardeners drink” that will never hit the mainstream, but will be that secret “summer in a glass” taste that will have your friends and family banging down your door for more!