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With each night, we check the thermometer. When will it finally freeze upstate? Cause on that night our mint patch will be history. The same for all our herbs. We have five or six months of freshness and then it’s a long winter.

We can get “fresh” basil from the vendors who supply Suzi’s cooking school, Cooking by the Book. Good vendors but even they cannot battle the seasons. So, the basil can come in like this batch, a little tired, on the last legs of the year.

While it may not look the prettiest, that basil is still full of flavor. You can extract that flavor for Basil Simple Syrup, a component to make exceptional cocktails. Like the Clementine and Basil Bash I posted yesterday. I’ll have more ideas over the coming week. So, don’t worry about having “too” much. It’ll be devoured as quickly you can make it.

Basil Simple Syrup

Yield: 2 cups


  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 ounce of fresh basil leaves


Put the water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir to mix and turn on the heat. Over medium heat, keep stirring and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the basil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.

Source: Brian O’Rourke