Trend Alert: Savoury Cocktails
Savoury Ingredient: Basil
Grappa is mainly served as a “digestivo,” an after-dinner drink to aide in digestion. Basically bitter, there are plenty of people that might not want to serve this at their wedding — or ever. That’s where the infusion comes in. Blending it with lemon and basil softens this drink just enough to make it a crowd-pleaser.
- (makes about 1 litre)
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cups grappa
- 1/2 cup Simple Syrup
Put the basil and lemon juice in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle the basil leaves and lemon juice. Add the grappa, stir, and seal. Place the container in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight. Let sit for one week, swirling occasionally. Add the simple syrup, stir, and reseal. Return to its spot. Let sit for two more weeks, swirling occasionally. Strain the liqueur through a double layer of cheesecloth into a pitcher or other easy-pouring vessel. Strain again through two new layers of cheesecloth into one large bottle or a number of small bottles or jars.
A serving suggestion: Serve Basil Grappa chilled or at room temperature in small glasses; it’s especially good for alleviating that over-full feeling when you’ve had a couple bites too many.
Excerpted from Dark Spirits, by AJ Rathbun ©2009 Harvard Common Press.