Spring and Summer Drinks: Cocktails with Basil

Basil really does scream summer to us — mostly because it's so closely linked to tomatoes (in our minds, at least).

On a trip to Sonoma Valley last year, we kept seeing basil on cocktail menus. And we kept ordering said cocktails.

The basil was such a refreshing change from muddled mint. It has the ability to sweeten up more acidic things, like tomatoes, and yet, in cocktails, it had the opposite effect: Providing a slightly savory counterpoint to fruit or sweet liquor.

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The photo above is a Lillet Basil Cocktail from Martha Stewart that combines gin, Lillet Blanc, and basil and is garnished with cucumber and cinnamon sticks.

But most basil cocktails we found, including the ones we've drunk, are made with strawberries. We found this Strawberry Basil Martini recipe in Food and Wine, which includes gin and vodka as well as fresh lime juice.

Since strawberries are in season, we're going to play around with this combination and post a basil cocktail recipe over the weekend.

Anyone have suggestions?

Related: Summer Cocktail: The Cuke

(Image: Martha Stewart)

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