Basil Lillet Kamikaze
Did you really mean to plant, buy, beg, borrow or steal quite so much of it? It’s like something just came over you right?
Well you are not alone. There’s an Old Italian saying, “make pesto while the sun shines”.
It’s a rather astute observation. It’s not merely a common sense road map for dealing with summer’s great affluence of basil. Which is summer’s boldest herb. But it can also be a wise way to cool down in the summer heat. I know you like your pesto, but this is Friday and you need a drink. A drink with an herbal edge.
So today I’m going to help you deal with both the heat of summer and some of that surplus savory. I’m rewriting the kamikaze cocktail and packing it with herbacious allure. My version will feature gin and the French aperitif Lillet steeped in basil’s energetic enthusiasm. Lillet has a sweet nose drenched in honey and orange with a hint of something herbal. While the nose may lead you to expect a sweet dessert wine taste, Lillet is in fact a true aperitif with a firm bite. I will round out the flavors with a bit of orange juice and add the unexpected crunch of cucumber. Which is a sound that always brings my body temperature down a few blessed degrees.
I think you will see that this is a refreshing combination. It’s as subtle as basil can be this time of year. But bold enough so you can enjoy some of that beautiful basil bounty without letting it rule the roost. GREG