At Sagra Italian Trattoria in Austin, Texas, they’ve adopted a “farm-to-tumbler” approach for the summer. Bartender Mason Popp created a cocktail program that incorporates herbs grown in the restaurant’s greenhouse. Doesn’t get much fresher than that.
- 3-4 large leaves fresh basil torn into pieces
- 3 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce ginger simple syrup (see recipe below)
- 2 ounces prosecco
Reserve one basil leaf for garnish and tear the rest into pieces. Muddle the torn basil in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add vodka and ginger simple syrup. Shake vigorously. Pour prosecco into a chilled martini glass. Pour basil-vodka mixture into the glass. Garnish with one whole basil leaf.
Ginger simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon diced ginger
- 1 cup sugar
Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add ginger and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger and add sugar and stir well until all the sugar is dissolved. May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
This summer refresher with a decidedly more Southern flair is the Kentucky Peach from Cassie Stewart. The incorporation of basil into this cocktail balances out the tartness of fresh peach lemonade, and the vanilla notes of the bourbon provide warmth and spice.
- 1.5 ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon
- Peach lemonade
Muddle several basil leaves with Maker’s Mark in a glass. Add ice, and top off with peach lemonade. Garnish with additional basil leaves.