The Basil Smash cocktail is one of the most popular drinks in recent years. Despite its disarming simplicity and the fact that it was born only in 2008, by the hand of the mephistophelic Jörg Meyer, of Le Lion in Hamburg, it has become an icon of modern mixology.
The cocktail itself is splendid for its aromatic volume, depth and freshness, but it is nothing more than a pounding of sugar, basil, lemon to which a good dose of gin is added. As the name implies, it is part of the Smash cocktail family, close relatives of the Juleps. These cocktails originally provided that mint leaves were crushed in sugar with a pestle, filtered, enhanced with distillate, and then shaken.
It is the concept that is also the basis of an Italian cocktail like the Basito, even if it is not quite the same thing. In any case, the Basil Smash is a phenomenal cocktail, sharp and fragrant, elegant, spartan, but with that graceful drinkability that tickles the palate and invites you to drink.
As an aperitif cocktail, Basil Smash is ideal. It has a medium alcohol content and finds space both in winter and summer. Just have good fresh basil and you will prepare a fabulous cocktail.
Ingredients and doses for making Basil Smash
- 5 cl of gin
- 2.5 cl of lime juice
- 1.5 cl of sugar syrup
- 1 sprig of basil
How to make the Basil Smash cocktail
Wash the basil and put it in a shaker.
Squeeze the lemon and pour it over the basil with the sugar syrup.
Now pound with a pestle, but not too forcefully. Unlike mint (when you make the Mojito) that should never be pounded, the basil benefits from a good pounding and does not release the typical bitter flavors, so you can add 2 sprigs of basil if you want. It is not necessary to pound too much, tho, you have to extract the essential oils and the sap of the basil, do not reduce it to a pulp.
Add the ice, close and shake for 10 seconds, then pour, filtering through a colander, into an old-fashioned glass full of ice.
While preparing the Basil Smash, the most attentive of you will hear the echo of the first Old Fashioned, the forerunner who started the Big Bang, or rather the Big Smash.