Thursday, August 22, 2013

Food Talk: Holy Basil!

I often get my brain picked on for my expertise with exotic drinks from various Asian regions;  whether with modern-global touches or with traditional roots.  This time, I asked two renowned bars and their mixologists for their favorite herbal concoctions.

One of my favorite spots when I am in Bangkok is the Q Bar.  This recipe is courtesy of "Travelin Matt".

Thai Basil by Travelin Matt
4 lime wedges
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 oz vodka
Fresh watermelon
Fresh Basil (4-5 Leaves)
Ice Cubes
Sprite to top off

1 Muddle Brown Sugar and lime first
2 Muddle watermelon
3 Add basil leaves (no muddle)
4 Add vodka
5 Add ice cubes
6 Top off with sprite or 7-up
7 stir strongly (Mojito Style)
8 Garnish with basil leaf and watermelon wedge

Private VIP Lounge of Q Bar

Here is another recipe using Thai Basil recommended by our friend, Pauline Nguyen hailed from her much celebrated Lily Cocktail Bar, in New South Wales, Australia. 

Green Delilah by Dee Stewart of Lily Cocktail Bar
1 1/2 ounce vodka
1 ounce apple liqueur
small bar spoon of lime marmalade
8-10 basil leaves
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce pineapple juice

Muddle leaves in marmies (marmalade)
Add everything else
Shake it like a polaroid
Strain into a martini glass
Garnish with a spring of Thai basil

Green with envy, the Green Delilah
For an art benefit of 250 guests in the Hamptons,  we made one of our simple signature drinks, the Rangoon Cooler.

Rangoon Cooler:
5 holy basil or thai basil leaves 
Juice of medium lime
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 1/2 ounces vodka

Place five basil leaves in a mixing glass. Squeeze the lime into the glass. Press down on the leaves with a muddler and twist 4 to 5 times. Fill glass three-quarters of the way with ice cubes. Add the simple syrup and vodka. Give the glass a good shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Float a piece of the muddled basil leaf on the top as a garnish.

How do you like to use basil or your favorite herb? Let us know!