I love cherry season!! I especially love cherry season when I'm living in the PNW. I am a firm believer that fruit is the best when you can get it as close to the source as possible, and living in the Pacific Northwest means proximity to Washington and Oregon cherries!
Living in NYC for so long, I was spoiled in that I had access to many different fruits, often when they were out of season. But they often came from cold storage and were then shipped thousands of miles, arriving at their final destination looking like the fruit they were meant to be, but tasting nothing like they should.
Now that we've moved to Portland, we have so much space. It's crazy!! We even have room for a garden in our backyard. I have some herbs, berries, and veggies growing, and when I remember to water everything, all my plants are as happy as can be. Right now, I have an abundance of Thai Basil, much of which has flowered. So, I wanted to find a use for it in a drink, and a smash seemed like the right way to go.
The smash is a pretty simple drink. To make it you need a base spirit of some kind, you should be sure to have fruit that is in season, some sugar or simple syrup, and mint is a common ingredient as well, though you may use any herb you like. You may also add still or sparkling water, or sparkling wine to make it a longer drink. Essentially it is a drink made for sipping on hot days, and a drink I love to make in the summer months.
I've seen a lot of smashes made in the glass or shaken and not strained, but I hate pulpy bits in my drinks, so I shook and strained this one. Plus, it's more aesthetically pleasing that way. It's just a personal preference. You can do whatever you want, that's the beauty of the smash.
Thai Basil + Cherry Sparkling Gin Smash
- 2 oz Hendrick's Gin
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1 Barspoon Superfine Sugar
- 4 Large Pitted Cherries
- 8-10 Thai Basil Leaves
- Cherries (for garnish)
- Thai Basil Sprigs (for garnish)
Muddle Basil, Cherries, Sugar, and Lime Juice together in the bottom of a mixing tin until cherries release all their juice. Add gin and ice and shake. Double strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a Cherry and a few sprigs of Thai Basil.