Elderflower, basil and gin cooler

So today is the World Gin Day and not like any excuses are needed or anything, but I could not let the day pass without a little cocktail to join in the celebrations. Which also coincided with a new bottle of St Germain Elderflower liqueur landing in my kitchen. Oops. Oh how very unfortunate. Not.

imageThis cocktail is deliciously easy to drink. It’s a casual affair which is long and perfectly refreshing on a warm summer’s evening. Gin is one of my favourites in pretty much all shapes and forms from the classic G&T to the most modern concoctions involving pansies and rosemary. I love the herbal complexity of gin which gives an otherwise simple cocktail another dimension.

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The St Germain liqueur is equally delicious. If you have ever stood next to the elder when it is covered in the foamy waves of the tiniest white flowers and the cloud of its heady aroma, when you try St Germain you will be instantly returned to that moment. I have paired the elderflower with some fresh basil leaves and ginger ale as the top up to turn it into the long drink. More to sip which is not a bad thing. And added a dash of bitters which for me are the perfect companion to gin. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • small handful of fresh basil leaves with few reserved for garnish
  • 1 tbsp of golden caster sugar
  • 2 parts of gin
  • 1 part of St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • dash of Angostura bitters
  • juice from 1 whole lime
  • ginger ale
  • ice

imagePlace two tall glasses in the freezer 30 minutes before making the cocktail. When ready, remove from the freezer and place a small sprig of basil in the bottom of each glass.

In a shaker muddle the basil with gin and sugar for 1 minute or so. Add the elderflower liqueur and a dash or two of the bitters. Add the lime juice and fill the shaker with ice. Cover and shake it vigorously until the sides of the shaker are covered in condensation.

Strain and pour in the prepared glasses. Add more ice and a slice of lime before topping up with ginger ale. Sip with a straw and enjoy watching the sun go down. Cheers!