This year I was surprised to find some saplings of Lemon Grass and Thai Basil at the local Home Depot Garden Center. I frequently use these herbs in my cooking but have always had to go to the Asian grocery store to replenish my weekly supply. So the idea of growing some in my backyard herb garden, where I could have a fresh supply at hand was indeed exciting. Despite the drought in our region, both these herbs have done quite well in my little veggie patch and all through the summer I have used them in various Thai curries or to marinade shrimp or even some steak.
Both these herbs have strong summery aromas and they work amazingly well together. This time I used these classic Thai herbs in their raw form to make a really delicious summer cocktail. My only problem with this recipe is that it is really delicious and quite deceptive because the taste of alcohol is masked by the flavors of Lemon Grass and Thai Basil – so one doesn’t always realize how much alcohol is being consumed! It is indeed highly addictive! So I would recommend that if you are planning to use it at a party, let your guests know that it is spiked and that even one or two of these drinks can give you quite a buzz (or cut back on the gin you add to it). This was a real successful experiment for me – the drink is very refreshing and great for a summer party – do try it – Cheers!!!
1. Two fresh Kiwis
2. One Green Lime
3. A handful of Lemongrass
4. A handful of Thai Basil leaves
5. 4 tablespoons of sugar
6. 4-5 tablespoons of water (to make a simple syrup)
7. 2 shots of Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire Dry)
8. 12-16 ounces of chilled Club Soda
9. 8-10 ice cubes.
1. Mix the sugar and the water and place them in small pot over low heat to make a Simple Syrup.
2. This may take 3-4 minutes – when the sugar is completely dissolved, set this liquid aside to let it cool down.
3. While the syrup is cooling down, wash the Lemon Grass, Thai Basil, Lime and Kiwi fruits.
7. Blend all everything in the blender till it gets the consistency of a thick paste.
8. Run this thick pulp through a sieve to make a concentrate of all the ingredients. This step is necessary to remove the fibrous Lemon Grass out of the drink but still get its flavor into the drink.
9. Divide the concentrate equally into two clean glasses and add one shot of gin to each of the glasses.
10. Also add 3-4 ice cubes to each of the glasses.
13. Serve immediately so that the drink is still fizzy and cold! Cheers!!!