gin basil smash recipe

Gin Basil Smash Recipe | Beat the Heat with a Refreshing Classic at Home

Gin Basil Smash: Beat the Heat with a Refreshing Classic at Home

gin basil smash recipe 

Imagine it! A warm summer evening, laughter fills the air as you entertain friends on your patio. The conversation flows effortlessly, punctuated by clinking glasses and the clink of ice. You, the host, unveil your latest creation – a vibrantly green cocktail that tantalizes with the aroma of fresh basil. As your guests take their first sip, a collective sigh of contentment fills the air. The Gin Basil Smash, a modern classic, has stolen the show once again.

Everything You Need to Know About the Gin Basil Smash

This isn't just a hypothetical scenario; it can be your reality whenever you whip up a batch of Gin Basil Smashes at home. This deceptively simple cocktail offers a symphony of flavors – the botanical notes of gin perfectly balanced by the sweet and tart citrus, all harmonized by the fragrant and refreshing essence of basil. But here's the best part: creating these applause-worthy drinks doesn't require a fancy bar setup or a trip to a crowded establishment. With a few key ingredients and some basic techniques, you can become the star bartender of your next gathering.

So, ditch the bar tab and impress your loved ones with your mixology prowess! This guide will equip you with everything you need to know about the Gin Basil Smash, from its fascinating history to a foolproof recipe and some insider tips.

History of the Gin Basil Smash

gin basil smash recipe

The Gin Basil Smash boasts a surprisingly recent origin story. In 2008, Jörg Meyer, a bartender at Le Lion Bar in Hamburg, Germany, shook up the cocktail world with this vibrant green concoction. Originally called the "Gin Pesto" due to the muddled basil, the name eventually evolved to the more evocative "Gin Basil Smash," aligning itself with the popular "Smash" cocktail category (think Whiskey Smash or Mint Julep).

The Gin Basil Smash's popularity exploded quickly. Le Lion Bar reportedly sells a staggering 300-500 Gin Basil Smashes per week, translating to over 22,000 annually. This high demand has even earned the drink the nickname "Meyer's Curse" among some bartenders, a testament to the labor-intensive muddling process! However, the sheer deliciousness of the drink far outweighs any preparation woes.

Gin Basil Smash Recipe

gin basil smash recipe

The beauty of the Gin Basil Smash lies in its simplicity. You only need a handful of fresh ingredients to craft this masterpiece:

  • Gin (2 oz): This is the foundation of the drink. While any gin will work, a high-quality London Dry Gin with prominent juniper notes will truly shine. For an extra twist, consider Hendrick's Neptunia Gin, which boasts subtle cucumber and citrus botanicals that complement the basil beautifully.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (1 oz): Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a necessary tartness to balance the sweetness and cut through the richness of the gin.
  • Simple Syrup (¾ oz): This readily available sweetener (a mixture of equal parts sugar and water dissolved together) balances the tartness of the lemon juice and enhances the other flavors.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves (8-10): The star of the show! Fresh, fragrant basil leaves are essential for capturing the essence of this drink.

Garnish: A sprig of fresh basil adds a pop of color and a final burst of aroma.

While the ingredient list might be short, the Gin Basil Smash requires a specific technique to achieve its signature flavor and texture. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Place the basil leaves in a shaker tin and gently muddle them with a bar muddler. The goal is to release the essential oils from the basil without pulverizing the leaves. A few light presses are all you need.
  2. Pour in the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice. Ice not only chills the drink but also dilutes it slightly, creating a perfectly balanced flavor profile.
  4. Secure the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. You want to hear a nice, rhythmic shaking sound.
  5. Double strain the cocktail into a chilled rocks glass filled with fresh ice. This removes any stray basil bits and ensures a smooth texture.
  6. Top your masterpiece with a beautiful sprig of fresh basil, and there you have it.

COCKTAIL TIPS AND TRICKS: Mastering the Art of the Gin Basil Smash

gin basil smash recipe

Now that you've mastered the basic recipe, here are some insider tips to elevate your Gin Basil Smash game and impress your guests even further:

  • Fresh is Best: Always use fresh ingredients for the best flavor. Wilted or bruised basil will leave your drink tasting dull.
  • Embrace the Slap: Before adding the basil leaves to the shaker, give them a gentle "slap" between your palms. This releases even more of the fragrant essential oils, intensifying the basil aroma in your drink.
  • Chill Factor: Pre-chill your rocks glasses for an extra refreshing experience. Simply pop them in the freezer for a few minutes before you start mixing.
  • Clear Ice Advantage: While regular ice works just fine, using clear ice cubes creates a more visually appealing and slower-melting drink, preventing dilution.
  • Sweetness to Your Taste: The ¾ oz of simple syrup is a starting point. If you prefer a sweeter drink, adjust the amount to your liking. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it away!
  • Gin Experimentation: Feel free to explore different gins and discover your favorite for this cocktail. For a citrusy twist, try a Mediterranean gin. For something herbal, explore gins with botanicals like rosemary or thyme.
  • Soda Variation: For a lighter and more refreshing drink, add a splash of soda water after straining into the glass.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

While the Gin Basil Smash is a delightful cocktail, it's important to be mindful of its calorie content. Here's a rough estimate of the nutritional breakdown per serving (based on a standard 80-proof gin):

  • Calories: 180-200
  • Carbohydrates: 10-12g (mostly from simple syrup)
  • Sugar: 8-10g (mostly from simple syrup)

Remember, moderation is key!

Conclusion: Become a Home Bartending Master

With its vibrant color, refreshing taste, and surprisingly simple recipe, the Gin Basil Smash is the perfect summer cocktail to impress your loved ones. So ditch the bar scene and elevate your home entertaining game. The satisfaction of creating delicious drinks for your guests, coupled with the cost savings compared to expensive cocktails out, makes the Gin Basil Smash a true winner.

Barprints, is dedicated to helping people like you become home bartenders. Our course "Mixology Mastery" offers a wealth of knowledge that can take your cocktail-making skills to the next level.

gin basil smash recipe

Now that you're armed with the knowledge and techniques to craft this modern classic, all that's left is to experiment and find your perfect Gin Basil Smash variation. Perhaps you'll discover a new favorite gin, or maybe you'll perfect the muddling technique for the most fragrant basil release. The possibilities are endless!

So, what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients, and unleash your inner bartender. Who knows, you might even invent your own signature cocktail masterpiece inspired by the refreshing simplicity of the Gin Basil Smash. Cheers!

gin basil smash recipe