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Sometimes a great cocktail is made so easily you cannot quite believe it. From the great cocktail book Experimental Cocktail Club, here’s a delight from Joerg Meyer of Hamburg. It’s devastatingly easy: just basil, gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and ice. But, oh my, the possibilities. Not all basil is the same, so you can achieve very distinctive basil notes by shopping with care.

And the gin. There are so many gins out there, with so many flavors and levels of intensity, that there can be no “standard” flavor for this beverage. You probably have a favorite gin, or two or three. Try them all and see which one hits the spot.

It is spring by the calendar, winter by the temperature, and summer in our minds. This is a lovely summer drink. Make one. Maybe it’ll make the snow melt.

Gin Basil Smash

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • Handful of basil
  • 2 ¼ ounces of gin
  • 1 ¼ ounces fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce sugar syrup
  • Ice


Place the basil in a cocktail shaker and muddle gently. Add the remaining ingredients, then the ice cubes and shake well. Double strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a basil leaf.

Source: Experimental Cocktail Club by Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros, Olivier Bon, and Xavier Padovani [Mitchell Beazley, 2015]