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The Thai Basil Old Fashioned

January 25, 2013

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From a cook’s perspective there are a few ingredients that you discover that change the game of culinary creation. No matter what your skill level, these ingredients tend to offer some reliable “pop” that jazzes up your frozen pizza or makes your 5 course tasting menu stand out among the rest. For me, thai basil is one of these ingredients.

We all know and love the sweet and fragrant basil so often paired with fresh mozz and summer tomatoes but thai basil for those who haven’t used it, has an intensity and complexity that I absolutely love. Less sweet and with almost a bit of anise I use the stuff whenever I can find it. And now I’m using it in cocktails.

Many of the cocktail recipes I’ve posted on the Nobler recently have highlighted the use of a variety of liquors: cacacha, rum, and gin for example. But I always find my way back to my bourbon and this thai basil old fashioned doesn’t disappoint. Because of the fragrance of the thai basil, I decided not to go with a simple syrup here and use the muddled stems and leaves to create this delicious concoction. It’ll warm you up in this winter cold.

Thai Basil Old Fashioned

4-6 leaves of thai basil with stems

1 lemon wedge

2 sugar cube

3 oz bourbon

2 drops of orange bitters

Muddle the juice from the lemon wedge with the thai basil and sugar cubes until the sugar is well dissolved. Add the bourbon and the drops of bitters. Drop in an ice cube or two (or an ice sphere if you have it) and sip and enjoy.

 

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