Each Autumn, I find myself missing the changing of the leaves that I had experienced over the many years I lived in New Jersey. It always amazed me to see the lush, green landscape of central Jersey transform to an almost surreal sea of vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, pale greens and browns. Living in San Diego, I rarely get to see leaves changing. Last week, I was strolling through my local farmer’s market when I noticed a striking arrangement of green and purple basil. The contrast between the two varieties somehow reminded me of the fall phenomenon I have been missing so much. With a fresh bunch of purple basil in hand, I headed home to create this cocktail called The Fallen Leaf. Fresh, fragrant basil is muddled then shaken with white rum, lemon and honey. Adorned with a single basil leaf, this cocktail satisfies both my palate and my yearnings for the changing leaves. Continue reading for the recipe.
- 8 – 10 purple basil leaves
- 2 oz. white rum
- 1 1/2 oz. Honey-Lemon Mix (recipe below)
- Extra purple basil leaves, for garnish
- Add crushed ice to a shaker with 8 to 10 purple basil leaves. Using a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon, muddle the purple basil leaves (mash them up with the ice). Add white rum and Honey-Lemon Mix (to taste) then shake until well chilled. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a purple basil leaf.
- To make Honey-Lemon Mix, combine 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice with 1/8 cup honey and 1/8 cup water in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Whisk until the honey has completely dissolved into the mixture. This makes enough for about three drinks.