nightcap: the basil lime vodka fizz

fresh cut basil leaves

Have you ever noticed in the supermarket how they sell herb plants near the fresh herbs? And how similar in price the plants are to the cut herbs? It always seems so tempting to me to buy the plant instead of the package of cut herbs — there’s more on the plant anyway! And just think about how cost effective it is if you keep it alive!

If you keep it alive.

Well. I don’t know about you, but keeping a plant alive is something I’ve just about never managed to do. Nonetheless, last week I found myself in need of fresh basil, and I fell for the plant bit again. Which means…I’m desperately trying to come up with uses for fresh basil before the little guy inevitably dies.

basil plant
As you likely know if you live on Earth, Sunday is Game of Thrones night. And Game of Thrones night, at least in my house, means Special Drinks (spoiler alert: I really don’t need much of an excuse for Special Drinks).

Obviously I had to try to incorporate the basil into this week’s Special Drink. Enter the Basil Lime Vodka Fizz. Bright, bubbly, summery, and enhanced by the depth of flavor that only fresh herbs can bring, it’s perfectly refreshing.

basil lime vodka fizz cocktails
And especially suited to watching fire-breathing flying dragons and war-mongering hordes of zombies (apparently).

Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Basil Lime Vodka Fizz

Ingredients

For the Basil Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • approximately 10 fresh basil leaves

For the drink:

  • 1.5 oz. vodka (pro tip: store your vodka in the freezer)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 to 3/4 oz. Basil Simple Syrup (to taste — recipe below)
  • club soda as desired (roughly 2 – 3 oz.)

Directions

  1. Make the Basil Simple Syrup — on the stovetop (or in the microwave), bring sugar and water just to a boil and remove from heat. Add in 5-6 basil leaves, let steep 30 minutes.
  2. In a highball glass filled with ice, add vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Stir together.
  3. Top with club soda and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy immediately if not sooner.

Basil Lime Vodka Fizz Cocktail

nightcap: the paloma 

Some years ago, my husband and I hatched a crazy plan. We decided to get rid of (almost) everything we owned, sell the house, and hit the road.

I’m not sure why. Probably we watched Fight Club too many times. We read too many blogs about the ‘Digital Nomad’ lifestyle, and we have trouble with moderation. We’re intense people, both of us, and whatever we do is pretty much all or nothing.


So we did it. After many, many trips to Goodwill, and a small storage unit for the few things we kept, we hit the road. It was me, the husband, and (this is the ‘aha!’ moment) our five year old and one year old. It was a terrible idea. I mean it was an incredible idea, but it was also….really, really stupid, if you get me.

We had grand plans to head west to California, then north to Canada. As it happened we quit after our second stop, Austin, Texas. But first we spent two months in Baton Rouge with my best friend and her family. It was a sweet summer. Some of my favorite memories from that time are the days she and I were able to get away together. Mother’s Day was one of the best. And our happy hour drinks on that day included one I had never tried before, but which immediately became a personal favorite: a sweet sister to that most well-know tequila drink ever, the Margarita — the Paloma.

Every season I come up with a couple of staple cocktails to rotate through, but I pretty much always have the ingredients for a Paloma on hand, at least in the summer. Try the classic version with grapefruit & lime below, or mix it up with blood orange juice, sliced jalapeños, mezcal, or pretty much whatever you can think of.

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What’s your staple summer cocktail? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Paloma

Ingredients

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 3 limes
  • 3 oz. of simple syrup (I make my own by bringing a 1 to 1 ratio of sugar to water just to a boil, either on the stovetop or in the microwave)
  • 3 oz. tequila (I prefer silver)
  • club soda to taste (roughly 4 – 6 oz.)

Directions

  1. Juice the grapefruit and limes, reserving a couple of slices of ime for garnish if you’re fancy like that.
  2. Add simple syrup and tequila.
  3. Pour over ice.
  4. Add club soda. Enjoy!

nightcap: the (rum) lime rickey

rumrickey

Around here we often find ourselves in need of a good drink in the evening but with few ingredients on hand. Tonight we were working with rum, club soda, and a bag of limes. I mixed up simple syrup and voila — a rum spin on the Lime Rickey, a classic summer cocktail traditionally made with gin. Should you find yourself in a similar predicament, rest assured that the rum variety is just as refreshing.

Rum Lime Rickey

Ingredients

  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tsp. of simple syrup (I make my own by bringing a 1 to 1 ratio of sugar to water just to a boil)
  • 1.5 oz. light rum
  • club soda to taste (roughly 4 – 6 oz.)

Directions

  1. Mix lime juice, simple syrup, and rum together.
  2. Pour over ice.
  3. Add club soda. Enjoy!