During winter months I may have a glass of wine here or there, but when the weather starts warming up, I go in to cocktail mode. Gin and tonics are my go-to drink ever since I discovered Hendricks (my favorite) but when I had some strawberry simple syrup left over from making Pocket Pies over the weekend, I thought it would be a nice touch to jazz up my old standard. I added a little bit of basil to tone down the sweetness and bring in an earthy undertone and – yum! Perfect for summertime porch sitting.
- Gin (I love Hendrick’s, but any will do)
- Tonic water
- St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur (totally optional, but I love it paired with gin)
- Strawberry simple syrup (recipe below)
- Fresh strawberries
To make strawberry simple syrup:
If you make strawberry pocket pies, then you simply pour off the excess syrup that is formed from macerating the strawberries with sugar. But if you need to make it from scratch it’s super simple. You just mix equal parts cut strawberries, water and sugar (so 1 cup, 1 cup, 1 cup for example – increase or decrease depending on how much you want) and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for another 10-20 minutes or until it’s thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and strain the strawberries to capture the syrup. Store chilled up to a week. *If you want more basil flavor in your cocktail, make a strawberry-basil simple syrup by adding in basil before cooking.
To make one cocktail:
Add basil and a cut strawberry in bottom of shaker and muddle. Pour 1 oz. (or 2 tablespoons) gin, a splash of St. Germain (1/2 a tablespoon or so), and 1 to 2 ounces strawberry syrup over ice in shaker. Shake well. Pour in to glass and top off with tonic water. Stir and enjoy!