Cocktail Hour: Basil Vodka Gimlets

Ultimate summer refresher - Lemon basil infused gimlets

We're here in Maine, escaping a Midwestern heat wave and eating blueberries, lobster and corn on the cob until our bellies swell like overfilled beach balls.

Tomorrow we visit Wolf Pine Farm, which I'll be sure to report on. For now though, here's a a welcoming drink; a delicious summer cocktail I lifted from the July issue of Gourmet magazine. It was hard to have just one.

Lemon Basil Vodka Gimlets
adapted from Gourmet magazine
makes 6 drinks

1 cup lemon basil syrup*
3/4 cup vodka
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sparkling water
1 cup ice cubes
Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher until cold, then strain into 8-ounce glasses half filled with ice.

Lemon Basil Syrup

1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Zest from 1 lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until to dissolve sugar.
Cool; strain syrup through a sieve into a bowl or measuring cup. Chill until cold.

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Ronnie said...

This sounds and looks absolutely divine. Just returned from Maine. Miss it already. On our next trip I will have to visit Wolf Pine Farm. I look forward to reading your post.

Karen said...

Thanks, Ronnie. They are divine - I'll be happy to enjoy some more Maine for you ...keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

I too made this recipe. I loved it. Their other suggestion to make lemonade with the Basil Syrup was really nice too.

valentinA said...

Oh *slurps!!* your drinks look great & ever so refreshing Karen!

Karen said...

Scott, I'm ready to try the lemonade too!

Valentina, I hope you try it...

Deborah Dowd said...

You are having a Sandra Lee moment brought on by home renovation! A good cocktail will go a long way toward erasing memories of chipping paint, water damage and the sore muscles that come from fixing them! I think I'll give this one a try!

Karen said...

Deborah you're too funny!
Although the thought of Sandra Lee makes me cringe...I might need another gimlet.

Patricia Scarpin said...


My husband makes caipirinha for me and sometimes he adds a few basil leaves to the mixture - it's just delicious!

I know I'm gonna love this drink of yours!

Grant said...

Holy cow this sounds great. I love combining herbs in cocktails and vodka with lemonade is one of my favorite summer drinks. I am SO making this.

I am new to your blog and from what I've seen so far, I love it. I'm going to have to explore some more. Thanks!

Karen said...

Patricia, aren't you the lucky one?
Here's to husbands who tend bar - Clink!

Grant, Hello there - thanks for visiting.
I hope you like the drink. Cheers!

Sarah said...

Love the look of these--I love the trend of using herbs in cocktails. Basil I would think would work especially well because of its wonderful spicy aroma.

Karen said...

Sarah - I do too!

Although the recipe I just saw somewhere for a Pickled Onion and Parsley Martini might be pushing it.

Nupur said...

I could use one of these drinks right about now! It is only 9 in the morning and it is already blazing hot...wow, St. Louis summer is worse than summers in Bombay...

Lisa said...

I made regular vodka gimlets recently, and they were quite refreshing. This version is over-the-top wonderful! I am making these ASAP. Thanks!