Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Basil Grape Refresher

While other people are using the basil in their yard to make pesto this summer, we are making drinks! This sweet, tart, and spicy drink comes to us by way of our friends, the Gareys. We first had this concoction at a Jake's (which is owned by McCormick and Schmick's), in Portland, Oregon. Now, it's one of our favorite house drinks.

The key is to use frozen grapes--keeps your drink colder too. And for those of you who have never heard of simple syrup, it's essentially a 1:1 mixture of sugar and water that is used to sweeten drinks without the graininess of sugar (sugar is dissolved over heat).

Also, Angostura bitters are a blend of herbs and spices that is a product of Trinidad (found next to the club soda, ginger ale, sweet & sour mix in the grocery store).


(Makes one drink)

8 grapes (3 for garnish)
3 fresh basil sprigs (1 for garnish)
1 ½ oz. vodka (optional)
½ oz. simple syrup
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Ginger ale, to fill glass

Add 5 grapes and 2 large basil sprigs to cocktail shaker and hand muddle. (Totally fine to add a few grapes, basil leaves, lime juice and simple syrup to each glass and muddle in the glass before adding ice and ginger ale too; however, refresher will be a bit harder to drink (pulpy)--see picture--I HIGHLY suggest straining.)

Add the remaining ingredients and fill glass with ice.

Shake vigorously for 5 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into cocktail glass.

Garnish with 3 grapes and large basil sprig and maybe even a lime wedge.

Makes one very delicious, refreshing drink.

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