The CSA Cocktail

The typical summer visitors, squash and zucchini, arrived in the current CSA box. The droplets before the flood.

But there was a surprise: lime basil. I hadn’t see this herb before, and I just wanted to bury my nose in it. The fragrance was strongly lime with a little herbal, green edge to it – a much headier and sweeter scent than a lime, without the fruit’s astringency. I thought: mojito.

Some months ago, I had a sublime cocktail at Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill that was made with Thai basil. A different flavor, but similar idea. Here’s the result.

The CSA Cocktail: In the bottom of a tall glass, use a spoon to crush 25 or so leaves of lime basil in 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Crush and shred the leaves well. Stir in 1 tablespoon of simple syrup and 1 to 2 ounces of gold rum. Fill the glass with crushed ice, add a little water or club soda and stir. Garnish with a sprig of lime basil.

Simple syrup is easy, and keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks. Just combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, stir until the sugar dissolves, then cool to room temperature and refrigerate. You can infuse the syrup with flavorings, too.

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