We’re fast approaching the weekend so I thought I’d share yet another cocktail concoction we whipped up in our test kitchen. Grape and basil actually make a pretty good team and I was really pleased with how it turned out.. and my guests were pretty pleased with how it turned out as well. Empty jars and jugs are always a good indication of when something goes down well, and we polished off several batches of this.
For ingredients you’ll need two boxes of grapes (green, seedless, washed with stems removed), a handful of fresh basil, a sprig of mint, vodka, simple syrup, and soda water. You’ll also need a shaker, martini glasses, and green apple slices for making it pretty. This makes about 8-10 drinks depending on how thirsty the crowd is.
1. Juice the grapes, adding half a cup of water if the juice is too thick. I use a blender, but a juicer or a food processor would work just as well. With a strainer, strain the juice to remove pulp/ bits of stem/ seeds (if any)
2. Make a simple syrup using 2-parts sugar to 1-part of water, add these to a pot and simmer over low heat till sugar is fully dissolved
3. In a cocktail shaker, combine grape juice, vodka, ice cubes, basil, mint, and a dash of simple syrup (to taste). You can play around with the ratio but generally I use equal parts grape juice and vodka, a handful of basil, one sprig of mint, and a teaspoon (tablespoon at most) of simple syrup
4. Pour into a martini glass to the 3/4 point, top off with soda water. Add apple slice or basil leaf to make it pretty
Serve on a sweltering hot Sunday afternoon. Your guests will be most pleased as it’s light, crisp, refreshing, and not overly sweet (unless you OD on the simple syrup). If you are into sugary concoctions, try using ginger ale instead of soda water.
The great thing is that this drink can be made ahead and kept in parts in the fridge, and then assembled when your guests arrive. Just keep the grape juice and simple syrup in separate containers in the fridge, I recommend putting vodka in the freezer so that it’s super cold when it goes into the mix. Chilling the martini glasses is a nice touch too.