My recipe bookmark folder contains hundreds of semi-organized recipes, most of which I have never made. They usually just sit there for years, sometimes inspiring me, sometimes making me realize that I am never going to make a seven-layer cake.
Every once in awhile, though, I remember that I have bookmarked a recipe where I was just waiting on some fresh ingredients. Such is the case with this revamped basil-apricot “smash” (so named because you muddle fresh fruit to make it). I bookmarked the Apricot-Whiskey Smash on Chow.com last year, thinking that I had to try it with my mom’s homegrown apricots. (I’m not much of a mint-in-cocktails girl, so the fresh basil Mom brought me at the same time was a welcome inspiration.)
It’s fairly simple, if you care to put a little effort into your booze consumption – not to mention a nice change of pace from jam, tarts, compotes, pies, and other uses for summer fruits. Plus, look at the color – it really is that gorgeous shade of tangerine.
Before you make the cocktail, you will need to make Rich Simple Syrup or acquire agave nectar.
Basil Apricot Smash
Adapted from the Apricot Whiskey Smash by Chow
- 2 very ripe apricots, halved and pitted
- 4 large basil leaves
- 1 tbsp rich simple syrup (or agave nectar)
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 oz bourbon
Add apricots, 3 basil leaves, and the simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and muddle gently (GENTLY – do not pulverize the fruit or the drink will not strain properly). Add remaining ingredients and fill shaker 3/4 full with ice. Shake for 20-30 seconds and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Add 2-4 dashes bitters. Garnish with remaining basil leaf by smacking it between your hands to release the oil, then float it on top of the drink.
Variation: add a salt-and-pepper rim.
This might be good as a virgin cocktail, substituting seltzer for the liquor. Let me know if you try it!