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“We have a garden in the backyard of Restaurant Eve, our sister establishment down the street. One day I walked back there and the whole place smelled like basil. That’s how this drink came about. My first instinct was to make a gin-heavy cocktail. But the basil was so delicate and sweet that the gin just ate it up. Then one night our chef asked for a Lillet Blanc on the rocks. That was my aha! moment. Lillet Blanc is a fortified wine–based liqueur with hints of orange and vanilla. I wanted more citrus, but lemon and lime just muddied the flavor, so I went for citric acid. It made the color pop, and it gave the drink the spike of acidity that it really needed.”
Who Todd Thrasher, bar chef/partner
Where PX, in Alexandria, Virginia
1 tablespoon citric acid
10 fresh basil leaves
½ ounce gin
3 ounces Lillet Blanc
1 ounce simple syrup
2 drops orange flower water
fresh basil leaf
1. Dilute citric acid in 4 ounces water and set aside. In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves. Fill shaker with ice.
2. Add gin, Lillet Blanc, simple syrup, orange flower water, and 2 drops citric acid solution. Shake well, then double-strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with the basil leaf.
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