The Basil Julep puts a summery twist on this classic Kentucky Derby cocktail. Fresh garden basil is a bright, clean addition to the sweet combo of bourbon and sugar, and mounds of crushed ice keep it cold for hot summer days.
- Fresh basil
- Ice, crushed
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup or 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey
- Place 4 or 5 fresh basil leaves and simple syrup in a julep cup or collins glass.
- Muddle together to dissolve the sugar and release the oils and aromas of the basil. Gently press the basil leaves up around the edge of the cup to help release more flavor when the alcohol is added.
- Pack the glass tightly with crushed ice.
- Pour bourbon over top. Stir well, until glass becomes frosty. Garnish with basil leaves and a straw (optional). Serve, holding the glass near the rim to preserve the frosty exterior.
If there’s not enough flavor, make a basil simple syrup. Bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring often. Remove from heat and add about 10-12 fresh basil leaves. Let cool completely, then pour into a glass jar, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Discard basil before using.