My life has taken on a nocturnal twist since I found I was living opposite a cruelly sadistic nest of birds. They decided to start their campaign of harassment in March and have shown no interest in giving up their incessant morning chorus for two months now. On the plus side it's led to some productive internet foraging… what else is there to do at 3am? One early morning, a tweet led to a blog, a blog led to an instagram picture, and suddenly I'd stumbled on an article about how well basil and strawberry work as complimentary flavours. Cue me drifting off to sleep dreaming of basil and strawberry-infused vodka.
With an incredible taste and colour imparted by the strawberries and a complex savoury note from the basil, it's a deceptively simple flavoured vodka to make which is delicious served ice cold or as a base for any number of drinks. In particular it makes a fantastic Collins or, if you like your drinks shorter, a moreish Sour.
- A sterilised container (if you're going to gift this Parfait make the best ones)
- 500ml vodka
- 6 strawberries
- 10 basil leaves
- Slice the strawberries and layer them around the bottom of your jar.
- Strip the leaves from the basil stems and prod them between the strawberries.
- Pour over the vodka until all the fruit and leaves are covered.
- Seal and leave in a dark place for a week to let the flavours infuse. Your strawberries will release their colour as well as their flavour, so don't be worried if they start looking like zombie strawberries a few days in.
- After a week, strain the vodka using a coffee filter or muslin into a bottle of your choice
- Add 50ml of your vodka with a dessert spoon of sugar and 25ml of lemon juice to a highball glass and stir until mixed.
- Fill the glass with ice, top up with sparkling water and stir.
For a Strawberry Basil Sour:
- Add 50ml of your vodka with a dessert spoon of sugar and 25ml of lemon juice to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake for 5-10 seconds.
- Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a basil leaf and a sliced strawberry on the side of the glass.