Thai Basil + Ginger Cocktail

There's not much in this world that's simpler than a well-made daiquiri. They are so refreshing and they always remind me of my times in the Caribbean. I like 'em the classic way, or frozen. As long as there's plenty of rum and fresh lime, I'm a happy camper. I wanted to do a slight Southeast Asian twist on the daiquiri with this drink.

I took a standard daiquiri recipe and spiced it up a bit with some fresh Thai basil and ginger liqueur. I love basil in general, but Thai basil has such a wonderful bite to it. It's my favorite ingredient in many foods from Southeast Asia. Bowl of Pho anyone? Plus, ginger adds another little kick and makes for a very complex rum drink.

To get all that spicy goodness of the Thai basil flavor into this drink, I made a quick simple syrup with it. Simple syrup is super easy to make, as the name suggests. Just boil equal parts water and sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves and voila! You can easily add more flavor to your drinks by infusing your simple syrup with various herbs, fruits, and spices.

Thai Basil Daiquiri

Combine ingredients except the basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a small rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Thai Basil sprig and a lime wheel.

Thai Basil Simple Syrup: Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Add Thai Basil to pan and remove from heat. Let steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain to remove the basil leaves, and store in an airtight container for up to 30 days.