Basil Vermouth Cooler
A double dose of basil — infused in dry vermouth and used as garnish — ensures this drink is fresh and herbal throughout. A splash of olive brine and a garnish with the olives themselves add salinity and balance. Use the leftover basil-infused dry vermouth in a 50/50 martini, Vermouth Royale, a Fair Play or pour as is over a large ice cube and finish with a citrus twist.
- Serves: 1 person
- 10to 15 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
- 1(750-milliliter) bottle dry vermouth
- 1 ½ounces fino or manzanilla sherry
- 1 ½ounces basil-infused dry vermouth
- ¼to 1/2 ounce mild green olive brine, such as Castelvetrano or Manzanilla
- 2ounces dry tonic
- 3ounces soda water
- 1basil sprig
- 1(3-inch) lemon peel
- 1to 3 Castelvetrano olives
Step 1Make basil-infused dry vermouth: Place the basil in one hand and use the other to lightly slap the leaves, releasing the aromatics. Add the leaves to the vermouth either in the bottle itself or in a large, clean container. (You may need to pour out an ounce of vermouth to fit in all the leaves. If this is the case, pour the vermouth into a glass with an ice cube and garnish with a citrus twist. Drink while you infuse the rest.) Cover and set aside to infuse at room temperature for 3 hours. Strain the vermouth through a fine-mesh strainer, removing and discarding the basil leaves, and rebottle in the original bottle. Store in the refrigerator and use the basil-infused vermouth within 3 weeks.
Step 2Make the cocktail: Fill a Collins or highball glass with ice. Add the sherry, basil-infused vermouth and olive brine. Top with tonic and soda water. Place the basil sprig in one hand and use the other to lightly slap the leaves, releasing the aromatics. Garnish with the basil, lemon peel and olives.