So, you’ve had a rough day? Perhaps it’s just been one of those days, where you’ve walked your dog in the morning for what feels like a mile and they still haven’t pooped, but you know they need to, so you keep walking and now you’re late to work. Or, maybe you’ve come up with a brilliant idea only to realize that someone else has already done it and done it extremely well. Maybe you’ve just put on a fresh pair of white kicks, and someone stepped ever so gingerly on the back of your heel to scuff it up with no apology? We’ve all had those days and there’s only one type of ailment for it…alcohol!
Now, I’m not a crazy drinker, but when I do drink, I’d like to make sure it’s special. So I either go hard on a good whisky, like a single malt scotch, or I go fruity with the Gin. It really depends on how fucked up the day actually was. Or, maybe even how fucked up the day’s begun.
While we don’t really need alcohol to just rid our bad daily conditions, I feel like it’s there for that, so let’s brighten up our day with a Raspberry Basil Gimlet. There’s a really simple formula to any gimlet, and that’s having a 2:1:1 ratio of Alcohol:Sour:Sweet. For the Alcohol, we’ll be using a nice Gin like Junipero. I absolutely love this gin because it’s floral and silky smooth. Most people would never consider asking for a drink made with Gin and I get that, because gin by itself is rather harsh. However, when muddled with any fresh fruit like raspberry, there can be absolutely no other base spirit that can bring out the fruit essence. As a test, you could try to muddle with some vodka and you’ll immediately notice how flat the finish is on your tongue and plus, Snoop Dog doesn’t drink Vodka he sips on Gin and Juice.
For the sour component of this gimlet, I like the combination of Raspberry and Lemon.Some prefer Lime, and that’s totally cool too. Lime or Lemon are both rock stars for this type of gimlet. I just feel like Lemon is a bit more neutral and can balance out the tart of raspberry so we’ll use that here.
As for the sweet component of the drink, we’ll be using a pomegranate molasses. The sweetness of pomegranate, isn’t overpowering like you’d get if you use simple syrup and it adds a little more body and color to the drink, which we definitely want to use to counter the tartness and sourness combination of lemon and raspberry.
Ah, and finally the bitterness of fresh basil. Basil is a Vegan’s best friend and if you’ve been reading my other post, I’m sure you’ve noticed I can’t live without this stuff. And look, if you’re not a raspberry fan, you can just use basil and you’ll still have a fantastic gimlet.
What will make this drink the most special drink you’ve had? Is it color? Is it how cold it is as we pour it from our Boston shaker? Perhaps it’s the basil leaf added to the rim of the glass? Well, for me, it’s the luxury and feel of the drink as it hits your lips and nothing gives you more luxury than rich frothy foam. Typically froth is created from whipping up egg whites and if you’re at a speakeasy in SF and they don’t have a drink on the menu with froth, they’re just being lazy, or maybe they’re Vegan and they don’t want to use chicken periods in their drinks? Ha! Doubtful…but oh, the, “what if’s”…
Now, here is where the magic of the plant-based world comes in…we can use aquafaba or chickpea juice to get the same effect as whipping egg whites into our drinks!I use a ton of chickpeas in meals like chana masala or salads because they are packed full of protein. Prior to knowing what I could do with aquafaba, I would just drain the juice out and pour it down the drain. Such a waste! So now when you crack a can open, don’t throw away the juice! You can just save it in a mason jar and use it for days like this.
In our pint glass, we now have the fruit, basil, lemon juice, and the gin which we want to give everything a good muddle. Just before we’re ready to shake the shit out of this drink, we’ll add the aquafaba to get us that foam. I use about 6 cubes of ice making sure that there is enough room in the shaker to help us whip up the foam and bring everything together.
An essential bar tool I use is a stainless steel meshed strainer which will help us filter out the fruit and leave us with some great froth on top with minimal effort.
Regardless of how bad the day was, you now have happiness staring you right in the face. And to be completely fair, there’s fruit and nutrients in this drink so it can’t be all bad can it? We’ll zest some lemon skin over the top and garnish with the basil leaf tip to finish. Kiss that bad day goodbye and knock yourself out with this plant-based cocktail. You’ll be ready to conquer the next day with ease.
Raspberry Basil Gimlet
A refreshing cocktail to cap the day off and refuel yourself for what the day holds tomorrow.
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 oz. pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 oz. water
- 1 oz. aquafaba (chickpea juice)
- 1/8 tsp lemon zest
- 4 basil leaves
- 6 Raspberries
- Wash and rinse raspberries and basil
- In a pint glass from Boston shaker, combine raspberry, basil, lemon juice, and Gin.
- Prepare pomegranate molasses by mixing with 1/4 oz. water in measuring cup and add to pint glass.
- Muddle all ingredients in glass.
- Add 1 oz of aquafaba and 6 cubes of ice. Give a strong shake for 20 seconds.
- Pour and strain out liquid into serving glassware of choice.
- Garnish with basil leaf and zest lemon over the foam.