Created by Jörg Meyer, from the Lion in Hamburg, this cocktail is fast becoming a phenomenon across the cocktail world. Inspired by the whisky smashes, Meyer invented the basil smash in 2008, going on to win “Best New Cocktail” at the 2008 Tales of the Cocktail Spirits Awards. The cocktail has two variants, essentially using green and red basil, however the recipe is the same.
1 bunch basil
20ml simple syrup
Place the basil into a cocktail shaker, followed by the lemon
Muddle the lemon and the basil, smashing the ingredients and squeezing the lemon
Add simple syrup, mix
Fill shaker with ice, top with gin. Shake vigorously
Double-strain into a rocks glass filled with ice
Garnish with another basil leaf
Like all bittersweet cocktails, balance between syrup and lemon is vital. We suggest using either Hendrick’s Gin or Berkeley Square, with the latter bringing with it herbal tones that shine through in the cocktail itself. If using Berkeley Square Gin, we would also suggest increasing it to 60ml due to the subtler nature of the gin. For inspiration, you can watch a video by Jay Hepburn featuring Le Lion bar and Jorg Mayer here.